Diageo and The Nolet Group Form 50/50 Company for Ketel One Vodka

Jun 09, 2008, 01:00 ET from Diageo

    NORWALK, Conn., June 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diageo, the world's
 leading spirits, wine and beer company, and The Nolet Group, the
 family-owned distiller of Ketel One Vodka, announced today that they have
 completed a transaction to form a new 50/50 company that will own the
 perpetual exclusive global rights to sell, market and distribute
 super-premium Ketel One Vodka and Ketel One Citroen.
     Diageo paid $900 million for its 50 percent equity stake in the new
 company, which will be based in the Netherlands. The Nolet family will
 continue to own the distillery in Schiedam, Holland, and will supply Ketel
 One Vodka and Ketel One Citroen to the new company. Due to its rights under
 the agreements, Diageo will fully consolidate the financial results of the
 new company, accounting for the Nolet holding as a minority interest.
     "This transaction further enhances Diageo's platform in the
 fast-growing super-premium vodka segment," said Paul Walsh, Chief
 Executive, Diageo Plc. "Ketel One Vodka is an outstanding high quality
 brand rich in heritage. In joining with the Nolet family, we are eager to
 bring our outstanding marketing expertise and strong track record of brand
 stewardship to Ketel One Vodka to maximize its potential for global
     "We are extremely proud of what we've achieved building the Ketel One
 Vodka brand. It's a testament to the power of our unique approach and the
 appeal of our brand's heritage," said Carel Nolet, Sr. Chairman of The
 Nolet Group. "This alliance with Diageo is key for The Nolet Group and the
 Ketel One brand because we will now have sales, marketing and distribution
 expertise that will help us to build on our success and make Ketel One
 Vodka a truly global brand."
     In 2007 Ketel One Vodka and Ketel One Citroen had a combined annual
 volume of 1.9 million cases. It is sold primarily in North America in the
 super-premium vodka segment and will complement Diageo's premium Smirnoff
 and its ultra-premium Ciroc brands. Similarly, outside the United States
 Ketel One Vodka will expand Diageo's brand range in vodka.
     "The Nolet family has built Ketel One Vodka into an iconic brand and we
 are very pleased to embark on this journey with them and continue to build
 on this success," said Ivan Menezes, President and CEO, Diageo North
 America. "As the spirits market in the United States expands and consumers
 continue to premiumize, Ketel One Vodka enables us to offer our consumers
 another super-premium choice."
     About Diageo
     Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business
 with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits,
 wines, and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness,
 Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal,
 Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.
     Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around
 the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO)
 and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its
 people, brands, and performance, visit us at http://www.diageo.com/ .
     Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly.
     About The Nolet Group
     Since 1691 the Nolet family, through The Nolet Group, manages the
 production, distribution, sales and marketing for a range of super premium
 spirit brands including Ketel 1 Jenever and Ketel One Vodka at the Nolet
 Distillery. The business originated in Schiedam, Holland where it still
 operates its distillery today. The Nolet Group values personal
 relationships with its distributors, bartenders and consumers who are
 essential for the success of the company and its products. In 2007, the
 company produced 1.9 million cases with a turnover of approximately Euro
 165 million. The Nolet family is actively involved with The Nolet Group
 under the leadership of 10th generation Carel Nolet Sr. and his younger son
 Bob Nolet, both based in Schiedam, and his older son, Carel Nolet Jr.,
 based in California, USA. The Nolet Group employs approximately 180
 employees. You can learn more at http://www.ketelone.com/.