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Diageo to consider list of bidders

DIAGEO is reported to be narrowing down a list of bidders for Scotch whisky maker Whyte & Mackay.

More than 20 companies are believed to have noted an interest in buying the Glasgow business.

Private equity firms Lion Capital, TPG and KKR are among those thought to be in the running as well as Thai Beverage, Stolichnaya vodka owner SPI Group and Italian drinks company Campari.

Former Whyte & Mackay chief Vivian Imerman, who runs London based investment firm Vasari, has also expressed his desire to run the company again.

Diageo is being forced to offload Whyte & Mackay to satisfy competition watchdogs following its long running acquisition of a stake in Vijay Mallya's United Spirits. It is not yet known whether Dalmore and Tamnavulin, distilleries and brands which Diageo wanted to retain, will be included in the deal.

Separately, Beam Inc shareholders have voted to approve its £9.8 billion takeover by Japanese drinks giant Suntory.

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