I’ll take mine neat, thanks

The BBC hints at the real story behind the headline of Diageo agreeing to buy Bushmills from Pernod (which also owns Jameson), but sticks to quoting the official spokesmen and then wheels out the local MLA, Ian Paisley Jr, to talk about securing jobs and keeping the brand in Co. Antrim.. but the NY Times points directly to the reason why Pernod Ricard agreed to sell.. Diageo has agreed – in return for the sale of Bushmills and an option to buy Montana wines – to stand aside while Pernod Ricard buys up Allied Domecq. Update Added linksThe story, as detailed in the NYT –

Pernod Ricard has a deal to buy Allied Domecq for about $14 billion, but a second bidding team, led by Constellation Brands, has expressed interest in the company. Both sides have been talking to Diageo in recent weeks in hopes of bolstering their offers.

Diageo has agreed to buy the Old Bushmills Distillery Company of Ireland from Pernod Ricard for 295 million euros ($362 million). In addition, Diageo has an option to buy Montana wines, a brand Allied Domecq owns in New Zealand, for approximately 469 million euros ($575 million), if Pernod Ricard is successful in its takeover.

In return, Diageo, based in London, has promised “not to enter into discussions with any third party” in connection with acquisition of shares or businesses owned by Allied Domecq, Pernod Ricard said in a statement.[emphasis added]

And it’s not, necessarily, over yet.. as the NYT also points out at the end of the article

European regulators said on Monday that they needed an additional two weeks to review Pernod Ricard’s offer because of the new Diageo involvement.

OK, just a splash of water then..