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Three Scotch distillers poised to join Heineken


Bunnahabhain: owned by South African group

Three Scotch whisky distilleries are part of a package of assets being pursued by Dutch brewer Heineken.

It has lodged a £1.9 billion bid for South Africa based Distell whose portfolio includes Bunnahabhain, on Islay, Tobermory, on Mull, and Deanston, near Dunblane, as well as the Scottish Leader and Black Bottle whisky blends.

Heineken, which owns Caledonian brewery in Edinburgh, is also bidding for Namibia Breweries.

It wants to combine both Distell and Namibia with its existing South African operations to create a new, majority-owned company worth about £3.4bn.

Heineken chairman and chief executive Dolf van den Brink said: “We are very excited to bring together three strong businesses to create a regional beverage champion, perfectly positioned to capture significant growth opportunities in southern Africa.

Distell is Africa’s leading producer and marketer of ciders, flavoured alcoholic beverages, and wines and spirits, while Namibia Breweries is the beer market leader in its home country.

Bunnahabhain, Tobermory and Deanston have been in the ownership of Distell since 2013, when it acquired East Kilbride-based Burn Stewart Distillers for £160 million.

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