Anyone for Pimm’s? Spirits giant Diageo mulls sale of historic brand

Spirits giant Diageo is considering the sale of British summer favourite Pimm’s.

The FTSE 100 firm, which also owns Gordon’s gin and Baileys, is exploring the sale as part of efforts to trim some “non-core” brands from its portfolio, according to a report by Sky News.

It has hired bankers from Rothschild to explore the potential sale of the brand.

It is understood that the process is at a very early stage and the business may not be sold.

Wimbledon 2019 – Day Two – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Pimm’s is closely linked to the Wimbledon tennis tournament (Mike Egerton/PA)

Pimm’s was founded in 1840 in London by James Pimm, who blended his famous “No 1 Cup” recipe as an aid for digesting oysters.

The brand, which received a Royal Warrant in 2010, is often linked to Wimbledon and royal events during the summer.

Diageo declined to comment.

The group is also considering the sale of fruit liqueur Safari and Venezuelan rum brand Pampero, Sky reported.

The company sold its Windsor Global whisky business to a South Korean private equity company last year, and in 2022 offloaded peach schnapps brand Archers.

It has sought to divest a number of brands in a bid to improve value for shareholders after a steady decline in its share price over the past year.

Analysts at Jefferies have said the potential disposal of Pimm’s and other brands “indicates that management are focused on reducing exposure to lower growth and lower-return assets”.

They added: “We take no view on the likelihood of this taking place, however it appears to reconfirm management’s focus on the trimming of low-growth, low-return, non-core brands from the portfolio.”

Shares in Diageo were down 0.4% at 2,977p on Thursday.

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