Monday 2 May 2011

William Grant eyes up Cooley

I see in the business section of the Sunday Times (behind a paywall so no link, I'm afraid) that William Grant is actively seeking to acquire Cooley Distillery. William Grant, if you recall, is the Scottish distiller that bought the Tullamore Dew brand last year, a brand without a production facility of its own. Our hope, therefore, was that they would build their own distillery in Ireland.

The article, however, has them sniffing around Cooley, a fact confirmed by John Teeling, Cooley's founder. Teeling says they are "not encouraging" a formal offer, and the discussions could yet end up in a joint venture or supply agreement, rather than a takeover.

I've noted it before that Cooley owns the original three giant pot stills from the Tullamore Dew distillery. They are currently idle in Kilbeggan, waiting for the day that Cooley's volumes justify firing them up again. I do not want to see the only Irish-owned distillery snapped up by yet another big foreign drinks company. But an arrangement whereby the Tullamore Dew brand and the Tullamore Dew pot stills are reunited, that would be widely welcomed, I'm sure.

[How I wish I could have written a "William & Midleton" story there!]