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Tequila Maker Jose Cuervo Is Reportedly Going Big on Its IPO

May 31, 2016, 9:26 PM UTC
Tequila, the world's most popular beverages
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] TEQUILA, JALISCO, MEXICO - APRIL 06: Exhibition of several bottles of tequila being sold in the souvenir shop of Casa Jose Cuervo in Tequila, Jalisco. Consider the world's most famous brandy, tequila is an alcoholic beverage resulting from the fermentation and distillation of the mead of pineapple or agave stalk, abundant for centuries in the state of Jalisco, and reaching a daily production of 30,000 liters in Tequila, Mexico on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Jose Cuervo, one of the most recognized brands globally processed daily in his distillery La Rojeña between 200 and 300 tons of blue agave, being white tequila, reposado and añejo more drinks marketed to over 150 countries worldwide. (Photo by Hugo Ortuño/Getty Images)
Photograph by Hugo Ortuño Suárez — Getty Images

The 2016 IPO scene might be a desert, though the drinks are still flowing for tequila maker, Jose Cuervo.

The world’s largest tequila-producer is working on an initial public offering that could raise as much as $1 billion as soon as the third quarter, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. If the Mexican spirit maker decides to go public in the U.S., it would be the third largest U.S. IPO of the year, behind U.S. Food Holdings and MGM Growth, which each netted over $1 billion this year.

Though the specifics of the deal are still shrouded in mystery. Bloomberg reported that the deal could be as low as $500 million—leaving a range of half a billion. Jose Cuervo has also yet to decide where it will list shares—the U.S., Britain, or Mexico. But it has been working with JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Spain-based Banco Santander to prepare the deal, Bloomberg reported.

The offering is surprising, not only because it’s an IPO in a year that, thus far, has been defined by uncertainty and volatility, but its a rare market debut in the spirits category.

 

The industry has been prone to consolidations in over the past few years, giving rise to just a handful of global players: Diageo (DEO), Pernod Ricard (PDRDY), Beam Suntory, and Brown Forman (BF-A), as reported by Fortune’s John Kell. That left few private companies untouched—Jose Cuervo included.

If Jose Cuervo’s IPO does come through this year, it would be at a time when tequila demand is soaring. In the U.S., tequila volume has risen 106% since 2002, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. Many tequila producers have also branded themselves as upscale spirits, tapping into a trend that gives makers the chance to go global and grow profits.