Pure Gould: Whyte & Mackay

And then there is Vivian Imerman – the man from Del Monte – you couldn’t make this up could you? It was Imerman of course who masterminded W&M’s sale to United Spirits’ Vijay Mallya in the first place, but make no mistake he got top dollar for the business and Diageo’s determined to do the same. Indeed some analysts are forecasting a final price of £1 billion should a bidding war take place. Of course that would go some way towards replenishing Diageo’s coffers following its £1.25 billion acquisition of the controlling interest in United Spirits.

To date Imerman is the first to hold his hand up, but there is doubt as to whether he would be able to muster the necessary funds. There’s surely no doubt though Whyte & Mackay would welcome its one-time boss back as it’s rumoured that on securing the deal with United Spirits, he then went on to “reward” every W&M employee a bonus which amounted to 10% of his or her annual salary – nice touch that.

On the other hand the result could be much more prosaic – that is W&M will go to a financial buyer and John Beard will head up the new entity...