| LONDON, April 7
LONDON, April 7 U.S. drinks company Brown-Forman
is one of several parties considering second-round bids
for the Whyte & Mackay whisky business, expected to fetch around
350 million pounds ($581 million), said three people familiar
with the matter.
The bulk of Whyte & Mackay is being sold by United Spirits
to satisfy antitrust concerns arising from Diageo's
purchase of a controlling stake in the Indian drinks
firm. Diageo is already the leader in the UK Scotch market,
where Whyte & Mackay's business is centred.
Also expected to move into the second round of bidding is
private equity firm Lion Capital, said the sources, who declined
to be identified because the process is private.
There are thought to be five parties in the second round,
the sources added, but it was not immediately clear who the
Reuters last month reported that SPI Group, owner of
Stolichnaya vodka, Italy's Campari and private equity
firms Lion Capital and TPG Capital Management were
among the interested parties. Other media have reported that KKR
was also bidding.
Second-round bids are due on April 17, said the sources.
Representatives for Brown-Forman and Lion Capital declined
to comment. United Spirits and Diageo were not immediately
Brown-Forman came into the spotlight last week after a
financial blog reported that the U.S. maker of Jack Daniel's
whiskey was eyeing French cognac maker Remy Cointreau.
In addition to Jack Daniel's, the Louisville, Kentucky-based
company owns Southern Comfort and Herradura tequila.
($1 = 0.6028 British Pounds)
(Editing by Mark Potter)