CCL to buy whisky labels group John Watson & Co

Labels multinational CCL Industries is to acquire John Watson & Co, the Scottish spirits label specialist.

The acquisition is not expected to complete until the start of 2014 and the cost of the transaction will depend on the business’s performance over the coming year. CCL has promised to invest in the business, which is based in Glasgow and has turnover of around £12m, primarily in the spirits industry.

The company’s founder and chairman John Watson will remain with the business in an advisory capacity, according to a statement from CCL, while joint managing directors Robert McLachlan and Allan McDonnell will continue with the firm. Watson said he was “delighted” to have reached heads of agreement with CCL and is “looking forward to the future with confidence and enthusiasm”.

“We believe CCL will be a very good home for John Watson & Co. and that it will take the business to the next level. “This has been a personal crusade in developing Watson´s over 46 years and I would like to thank all my dedicated Directors, staff and others associated with this business for their unswerving loyalty and support.”

Once the deal completes, John Watson & Co will rebrand as CCL Label and will be part of the Canadian multinational’s global wine and spirits network. CCL Industries president and chief executive Geoffrey Martin said: “The Wine & Spirits sector continues to be attractive for us as we have built our business by a series of acquisitions, joint ventures and greenfield investments around the world. “Guenther and his key people have held John Watson & Co. in high regard for a long time and believe the great team that John assembled will allow us to get closer to important global customers located in Scotland. “We also plan to support the planned acquisition with further investment in the operation in Glasgow.”

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