The most interesting statement in the Press Release from Cooley and Beam Inc this afternoon in relation to the proposed acquisition of Cooley Distillery by Beam is i think this sentence –
“Cooley is one of only three sources for Irish whiskey, and the only independent player, so this transaction is a unique and compelling high-return opportunity to enter one of the industry’s highest growth categories,” said Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam.
Its a classic , a key element in its value and unique high-return opportunity is that Cooley is ‘the only independent player’ a value and asset that disappears immediately it is acquired by a multinational corporation.
No matter how, benevolent a stewardship of the ownership, on purchase by a Beam Inc owners of Jim Beam® Bourbon, Maker’s Mark® Bourbon, Sauza® Tequila, Canadian Club® Whisky, Courvoisier® Cognac, Teacher’s® Scotch Whisky, Laphroaig® Scotch Whisky, Cruzan® Rum, Hornitos ™ Tequila, Knob Creek® Bourbon, EFFEN® Vodka, Pucker™ Flavored Vodka, Larios® Gin, Whisky DYC®, DeKuyper® Cordials, and Skinnygirl® Cocktails, it ceases to be an independent player, it joins Pernod Ricard/IDL and Diageo as a non-independent player.
The purchase is set up in the form of a tender for shares ‘outstanding stock’ the offer is $8.25 a share, giving a total value of around $95 million for the business. 75% of the shareholders have already signed up, identities not revealed.
Only 5% more are needed under the deal to sign up at $8.25 and in this economic climate, cash is king, so I fully expect that the conditional tender requiring
“at least 80% of Cooley’s outstanding stock accepting the offer and other customary closing conditions.”
To go through as the parties themselves have indicated, within the next four months.
And that will be that !
“We see the opportunity to leverage our combination of scale with agility to further build consumer demand for Cooley’s award-winning brands, and to expand distribution off a relatively small base in key export markets for Irish whiskey across North America and Europe.”
said Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam.
“Cooley’s brands and distilleries have a heritage that’s unmatched in the world of Irish whiskey, so they will be a great fit with our portfolio of brands with long and rich histories. We look forward to being good stewards of these iconic Irish assets.”