Diageo Sells Barton & Guestier

The move follows a recent statement that the international conglomerate is conducting a full review of its wine operations.

Diageo, the world’s largest beer, wine and spirits company, announced July 20 that it has sold its Barton & Guestier company to a French firm.

Earlier this month, the London-based company sold off the land and property of two of its flagship Cailfornia wineries, Beaulieu and Sterling, to a southern California company.

The terms of the B&G transaction, which unlike the California deal includes brands and inventory as well as land, were not disclosed. B&G produces a wide range of wines from France’s Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Beaujolais, Burgundy and Rhône Valley regions.

The two moves follow Diageo’s statement, in May, that it was conducting a full review of its wine operations.

Shares of Diageo rose 18% on news of the announcement, but remain off last April’s highs.

Last week the company announced a U.S. management reshuffle it said would “continue to drive breakthrough growth…for Diageo’s North America sales teams.”

In its home country, England, Diageo has been struggling with a huge deficit in its pension plan. The New York Times reported the company planned to put aside two million barrels of whiskey in order to securitize a $645 million hole in the pension fund.

Published on July 21, 2010

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