Diageo looks at new listing in Hong Kong

City A.M. Reporter
DRINKS giant Diageo is looking at a potential listing of its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange to help boost its expansion plans in Asia, part of its overall drive into fast growing emerging markets.

The world’s biggest spirits group already has its shares listed on the London and New York stock exchanges and a listing in a developing region is being considered as the group looks to generate half its sales from emerging markets by 2015.

“It’s something that we keep under review, but there are no imminent plans,” said a Diageo spokesman yesterday.

Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh has said a Hong Kong listing is something Diageo’s board is considering and will continue to look at and there have been some discussion documents produced.

But he has also said a move is not imminent and Diageo should not take its eye off the key issues of meeting financial targets.

Industry sources said London-based Diageo might only list in Asia if it needed to finance a big deal, probably in the Asian market.

The Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka maker is looking to emerging markets to offset sluggish sales in Western Europe.