By Max Clarke

Diageo, the London headquartered alcoholic drinks giant and world’s largest manufacturer of distilled spirits, has today announced its £1.3 billion acquisition of leading Turkish drinks manufacturer Mey Içki.

The acquisition of the leading spirits company in this very attractive emerging market will allow Diageo to accelerate the growth of its complementary international spirits brands with increased access through Mey Içki’s strong distribution network and customer relationships in Turkey. Mey Içki will be consolidated as part of Diageo Europe and will continue to operate under the current management team. They have delivered strong growth over the last 3 years and as part of the transaction they are investing a percentage of their equity into an employee incentive scheme.

Diageo CEO Paul Walsh said:

‘Turkey is an attractive, growing market for Diageo with strong GDP growth. The acquisition of Mey Içki transforms our existing position in this fast growing spirits market. It gives us leading brands in the major local spirits categories, a superior distribution network and a proven management team. The acquisition of Mey Içki will also provide Diageo with an outstanding platform from which to accelerate the long term growth of our premium international spirits brands in Turkey.

‘The acquisition meets our return criterion and delivers top line growth above the Diageo average, and margin expansion. I am delighted to welcome the Mey Içki brands and management team to Diageo.

‘This investment represents the continuation of our strategy to increase Diageo’s presence in those emerging markets, such as China and Vietnam, which have a rapidly growing middle class.’