Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 144,265 pages of information and 230,174 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grand Metropolitan

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Grand Met started out as a hotel business becoming Grand Metropolitan Hotels Ltd in 1962.

It moved into industrial catering by the acquisition of Express Dairies and Berni Inns.

1970 To this was added Mecca

Acquired brewery company Truman, Hanbury, Buxton and Co

1972 Acquired Watney Mann becoming Grand Metropolitan Ltd. and International Distillers and Vintners which owned the brands Smirnoff Vodka, J. and B. Whisky, Bailey's Irish Cream, Gilbey's Gin, Piat Wine and Croft Sherry and port.

In the 1980s Grand Met took over the US Liggett Group (producers of wines and spirits), Warner Holidays, Inter-Continental Hotels Corporation, Heublein Inc (wines and spirits) and companies in the United States.

1982 Death of Sir Maxwell Joseph

1988-90 Disposed of a number of businesses acquired in the previous two decades, most notably Inter-Continental Hotels and Mecca.

1988 Acquired US Pillsbury Co[1]

1989 Acquired Wimpy.

1990 Deal with Dalgety to exchange certain brands: acquired Memory Lane Cakes, making Grand Metropolitan's cakes business one of the largest in Europe, in exchange for Greens baking mixes, and Hammonds sauces, which Grand Met acquired with Pillsbury[2]

1997 merger of Guinness and Co and Grand Metropolitan to create Diageo. The product portfolios of Guinness and Grand Met were largely complementary, with little overlap.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times Dec. 19, 1988
  2. The Times Apr. 5, 1990