Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Friday, September 10, 1999 Published at 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK

UK: Scotland

Rivals toast whisky takeover

The Famous Grouse is one of the UK's top-selling whiskies

Highland Distillers, maker of The Famous Grouse and Macallan scotch whiskies, have accepted a joint £601m takeover bid from rivals Grants and Edrington.

The deal values Highland shares at 425p - 59% more than the company's value before speculation about the bid emerged last month.

Grant's, maker of Glenfiddich and Grant's whiskies and Edrington, which makes Cutty Sark scotch, will run 112-year-old Highland in a specially formed division called The 1887 Company.

'Limited redundancies'

A spokesman for the bidders said limited redundancies may take place at Highland's head office in Perth, but that the bulk of its 300-strong workforce was safe.

[ image: The Macallan is a popular malt]
The Macallan is a popular malt
Edrington - a private trust run on behalf of the Robertson family - now has a 70% stake in Highland, while Grants has bought the remaining shares.

The Famous Grouse is Britain's second best selling blended whisky after Bell's, with Teachers in third place.

But despite good home sales, Highland Distillers profits and sales fell in the first half of the year.

Last month, shares in Highland Distillers jumped following confirmation that the firm had received a takeover approach.

'Lacklustre rate'

Bryan Johnston, a whisky analyst with Bell Lawrie White stockbrockers, said at the time: "I suspect that what has happened is that the Robertson family, who through various cross holdings have about 28% of Highland Distillers and about 50% of the brand of The Famous Grouse itself, have probably frankly got fed up with the lacklustre rate of the share price."

"They have a great commitment to the quality of their product and I suspect they are behind this and are probably going to take it private."

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Relevant Stories

13 Aug 99 | The Company File
Spirits up after mystery bid

31 Mar 99 | The Company File
United spirits

Internet Links

The Famous Grouse

The Macallan

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Sport
Collins calls it a day for Scots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Death inquiry anaesthetist barred

Bowled over by Lord's

Ministers loosen purse strings

'Delight' at Tunnel court outcome

From Sport
Derby double swoop fails

Demands for far-reaching information bill

Gaelic makes sound use of the internet

Trusts 'ignoring' depression advice

BBC Scotland - On Air

'Little change' since poverty pledge

Nine hurt as bus crashes into pub

Teachers' union in pay body challenge

Dental death hearing adjourned

Parliament ponders Royal High flit

Reid quits PR job

Industry misses new trains target

Football and royalty dominate Westminster

From Sport
The next Battle of Britain

Man charged with murdering lab technician

Lockerbie trial judges named

Festival award for Ratcatcher