Business Strategy and Outlook| Philip Gorham, CFA, FRM |
Diageo was created in 1997 following the merger of Grand Metropolitan and Guinness. Mergers and acquisitions remain part of the firm's DNA, and subsequent transactions--some transformative, others bolt-on--have established Diageo as a global industry leader. Although the industry is fairly concentrated (we estimate a four-firm concentration ratio of 0.6, above many other fast-moving consumer goods categories, including the global brewing industry at 0.5), we believe there is more consolidation to come. Outside the top five firms, the industry is highly fragmented, and regional players often dominate in niche product categories or local markets. These firms present a new wave of merger opportunities for the industry consolidators, including Diageo, to strengthen their presence in developing markets.