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Diageo acquires majority stake in nonalcoholic-drinks maker Seedlip

Diageo PLC, through its venture capital arm Distill Ventures LLP, acquired a "significant" majority stake in nonalcoholic-beverage producer Seedlip Ltd., the U.K.-based distiller said Aug. 7.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In June 2016, Distill Ventures acquired a 20% stake in London-based Seedlip, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. The company used funds from the transaction to expand its business across 25 countries.

The deal marks the company's first acquisition of a nonalcoholic brand through its investment arm, according to the release. Diageo also acquired German aperitif brand Belsazar GmbH in March 2018 through Distill Ventures.

"We are also investing in disruptive new-to-world brands including brands that provide low- and no-alcohol choices to consumers," Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes said July 25 in a call to discuss the company's full-year 2019 earnings.

At the time, Diageo reported adjusted diluted EPS of £1.30 for fiscal 2019, up 7.4% year over year and ahead of the Market Intelligence estimate of £1.29.

Asked about the company's M&A criteria, CFO Kathryn Mikells answered that Diageo is looking to make acquisitions that are "a great fit" to its portfolio and that help the British alcoholic-beverages maker position itself into new categories, geographies or price points.