Diageo cash could add venom to Cobra

28 July, 2008

Diageo is reportedly ready to take a 30% stake in Cobra Beer in a deal which could be worth as much as £30 million.

The deal would be intended to give a turbo boost to a lager which has performed strongly in the UK market, but is thought to need extra working capital and distribution muscle to achieve its national and international ambitions.

Selling a stake in the business he built up from scratch may come as something of a wrench for entrepreneur Lord Karan Billimoria, but the possibility of Cobra joining the portfolio of the world’s biggest drinks corporation may be too lucrative to resist.

Diageo – which owns Guinness and distributes Red Stripe lager – is not the only company thought to be in talks with Cobra.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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