Shares in Diageo have jumped 7% following a newspaper reports that Brazil’s richest man, billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, is preparing a takeover bid for the world’s leading spirit company.
A Brazilian journalist reported that Jorge Paulo Lemann, and his partners in 3G, Marcel Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira, are in the initial stages of studying a buyout offer for Diageo. The journalist never cited a source for the rumours. Lemann and Diageo, makers of Johnnie Walker, Guinness and Smirnoff, both refused to comment on the rumours.
3G Capital already owns Burger King, bought from Diageo in 2010, as well as HJ Heinz in partnership with US investor Warren Buffet. 3G is involved in InBev, which bought Anheuser-Busch in 2008.
New York shares in the group already spiked on Friday afternoon as the story was released after the London markets closed.
Analysists at Jeffries said a purchase of Diageo “would be comfortably the biggest ever and well beyond anything 3G have previously contemplated.”