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Diageo acquires majority stake in non-alcoholic spirit brand

Diageo has announced the acquisition of a significant majority shareholding in distilled non-alcoholic spirits brand Seedlip.

Launched by Ben Branson in 2015 to solve the dilemma of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking’, Seedlip’s three variants – Spice 94, Garden 108 and Grove 42 – are now stocked in more than 7,500 bars, restaurants, hotels and retailers in over 25 countries.

In June 2016, UK-based Seedlip announced a minority investment from the Diageo-backed accelerator programme Distill Ventures.

Independently run, Distill Ventures receives funding from Diageo to support entrepreneurs as they launch and grow innovative drinks brands. Seedlip is the first non-alcoholic brand acquired by Diageo through Distill Ventures.

Branson, who is a judge in this year’s World Beverage Innovation Awards, will remain involved as a shareholder and director and will work with Diageo to support Seedlip in the future.

In its full-year results published last month, Diageo reported a 6.1% rise in organic net sales, thanks in part to the growth of its gin brands and its positive performance in China. (www.foodbev.com)

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