SCOTCH whisky giant Diageo has expanded its rum portfolio with the acquisition of a Filipino brand in a deal that could be worth up to nearly €440 million.

The Johnnie Walker maker has agreed to buy Don Papa Rum for an upfront consideration of €260m, which could rise by up to a further €177.5m, subject to performance.

The brand was launched in 2012 by Stephen Carroll with Andrew John Garcia, and is currently available in 30 countries. France, Germany and Italy are the rum's largest markets.

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John Kennedy, Diageo's president for Europe and India, said: “We are excited by the opportunity to bring Don Papa into the Diageo portfolio to complement our existing rums. 

"This acquisition is in line with our strategy to acquire high-growth brands with attractive margins that support premiumisation, and enables us to participate in the fast growing super-premium plus segment.”

Mr Carroll said: “Diageo has a strong track record in nurturing founder-led brands. They believe in our unique story and have genuinely embraced our brand idea. We believe this acquisition is a great opportunity to take Don Papa into the next exciting chapter of its development.”

The deal comes as Diageo says the super-premium rum category is in the early stages of premiumisation.