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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 October, 2004, 18:46 GMT 19:46 UK
Glenmorangie snapped up for 300m
Glenmorangie casks
The deal will allow Glenmorangie to boost sales in Europe
Glenmorangie, one of Scotland's last independent whisky distillers, is to be bought by French drinks firm Moet Hennessy for about 300m (433m euros).

Glenmorangie was put up for sale in August when the Macdonald family, which helped form the company in 1893, decided to sell its 52% stake.

The company produces the UK's best selling single malt whisky and a number of other popular brands.

The firm said the deal was "very good" for shareholders and staff.

Champagne brands

Moet Hennessy owns some of the world's most prestigious champagne brands such as Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Dom Perignon.

It is jointly owned by French luxury goods firm LVMH and British drinks firm Diageo.

This is a very good deal for our shareholders and employees
Keith Edelman, Glenmorangie

The Macdonald family has agreed to sell its controlling stake to the French company as has another leading shareholder, US drinks firm Brown-Forman.

The 300m deal has also been recommended by directors of the West Lothian firm headed by chairman Keith Edelman.

Mr Edelman said the deal would allow the company to "realise the full potential" of its brands, particularly in the export market.

"This is a very good deal for our shareholders and employees," he said.

"Glenmorangie is a fine whisky, a growing brand and a strong company," said Christopher Navarre, chief executive officer of Moet Hennessy.

Glenmorangie's main brands
Glen Moray
Bailie Nicol Jarvie

"It will be a fitting companion for Moet & Chandon, Hennessy and our other prestigious brands."

Moet Hennessy said it would protect the employment and pension rights of the firm's 350 staff.

The proposed takeover was announced after the close of trade on the London stock market.

However, shares in the company dipped 6% to 14.25p in the hour before trading concluded.

Glenmorangie's sale is believed to have attracted interest from all the world's leading drinks companies.

According to newspaper reports last month, six companies including Moet Hennessy made it onto a final shortlist of potential bidders.

Production of Glenmorangie malt whisky is said to be entrusted to the care of just sixteen people known as the Sixteen Men of Tain.

Whisky distiller goes on market
24 Aug 04  |  Scotland
Whisky's reputation 'under threat'
30 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Distillery to increase production
13 May 02  |  Scotland

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