Diageo acquires Turkish spirits firm

Diageo has struck an agreement to acquire Turkey's "leading" spirits company, Mey Içki.

According to Diageo the producer and distributor, which is valued at £1.3 billion, is the market’s leader in Raki – the biggest spirit category in Turkey – and has a “leading position in vodka”.

In the financial year ended December 31 2010 the company recorded net sales of £300 million and earnings before interest and taxes of £120 million.

Paul Walsh, CEO of Diageo said: “The acquisition of Mey Içki transforms our existing position in this fast growing spirits market.

“It gives us leading brands in the major local spirits categories, a superior distribution network and a proven management team.”

Mey Içki will be consolidated as part of Diageo Europe and will continue to operate under the current management team.

The acquisition will be funded through existing cash resources and debt and is expected to be complete in the second half of 2011, subject to regulatory clearances.

Paul Walsh said: “The acquisition meets our return criterion and delivers top line growth above the Diageo average, and margin expansion.”

According to Diageo, Turkey is a fast growing economy with consumer spending forecast to be twice the rate of GDP growth.

Paul Walsh added: "This investment represents the continuation of our strategy to increase Diageo’s presence in those emerging markets, such as China and Vietnam, which have a rapidly growing middle class."