Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Whyte and Mackay and Burn Stewart for Sale

It was revealled in the Sunday times that it is rumoured that Whyte & Mackay and Burn Stewart distillers are both up for sale. Worrying times for all those who work there but who would be likely to purchase these companies. My thinking is that perhaps they would need to break up the groups before anyone in today's market would be willing to buy them. I doubt anyone would take the whole company off of either of them.

Looking at Whyte & Mackay then maybe La Martiniquaise could be interested but having bought Glen Moray (interestingly nothing seems to have changed at Glen Moray since the takeover) they probably have enough bulk malt so maybe they might just be interested in taking Invergordon. This would allow them to scrap their plans for a major grain distillery and potential small malt distillery in Bathgate. As for Burns Stewart obviously Bunnahabhain would be of interest to people but I can't see many people falling over themselves to get Deanston or Tobermory and definitely not at the prices distilleries were going for last year.
The one prediction that I would see as being plausible but not really probable would be that William Grant's could go for Bunnahabhain, It would seem to make sense to add an Islay to their portfolio. I had expected William Grant's to have announced their purchase of Parkmore distillery by now but all seems to have gone quite on that front maybe they are saving their money for elsewhere. Pure speculation but you never know.

Anyway it will be interesting to see what happens!

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