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Dublin: 17 °C Thursday 22 August, 2019
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A famous Irish whiskey is going Mexican after swap deal with Jose Cuervo tequila

Diageo in return is to acquire Tequila Don Julio outright.

Image: Twitter/BushmillsGlobal

DIAGEO IS SET to sell Northern Ireland based whiskey firm Bushmills as part of a swap deal with Jose Cuervo to take on a fast growing tequila brand.

As part of the deal, Diageo will receive $408 million from Casa Cuervo as well as outright global ownership and control of Tequila Don Julio.

The Bushmills brand will in return be transferred to the Mexican-owned firm with the deal expected to go through early next year.

Diageo has been in control of the Antrim based Bushmills distillery for the past nine years and says that in that time it has invested £80 million.

“We are immensely proud of these achievements,” Diageo’s Colin O’Brien said upon this morning’s announcement.

We are confident that Jose Cuervo – a company with a proven commitment to its people and to valuing the history and heritage of its brands – will continue to nurture Bushmills in the future.

As part of the deal, an agreement that Casa Cuervo produces and distributes Diageo’s Smirnoff brand in Mexico will also be terminated early.

Diageo’s chief executive Ivan Menezes says that the group has already established itself in the tequila sector and that this deal will allow them to “build our presence in the world’s fastest growing markets”.

Diageo has also said that, in the six months to the end of June, 800,000 cases of Bushmills worth £57 million have been sold.

Read: They’re offloading more premium drinks, but Guinness brewer Diageo has still taken a hit >

Read: The government needs to rethink its approach to whiskey (and not the stuff in the Dáil bar) >

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Rónán Duffy

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