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Cuervo's La Rojeña distillery in Tequila, Jalisco. Cuervo's La Rojeña distillery in Tequila, Jalisco.

Cuervo goes public, raises 18 billion pesos

World's biggest tequila maker wants to be a global spirits company

Tequila maker José Cuervo went public yesterday, raising 18.363 billion pesos, about US $910 million, exceeding expectations by at least 3 billion pesos.

Shares in the world’s biggest tequila maker were priced yesterday at 34 pesos, at the top of their expected range, and today rose over 8% to 37 pesos when markets opened.

The initial public offering (IPO) was Mexico’s biggest since Grupo Lala raised $938 million in 2013.

Mexican investors picked up 31% of the shares, according to the Mexican Stock Exchange.

Officially known as Becle SA de CV, Cuervo is controlled by the Beckmann family, which will remain the majority shareholder.

Founded in 1758, José Cuervo claims to be the oldest continuously operating spirits producer in North America. It enjoys 30% of the global tequila market.

The IPO had been under consideration for at least 10 years and was set to go ahead last fall but the company put it on hold after the election of United States President Donald Trump.

The company has said it wishes to transform itself into a global spirits company and plans to acquire other brands to grow its business.

About 64% of its revenue comes from the U.S. and Canada, while its costs are in pesos.

The IPO gave the firm a second reason to celebrate this month. Last weekend, the José Cuervo Express, a luxury train that travels between Guadalajara and the Magical Town of Tequila, celebrated its fifth anniversary.

The two-hour ride takes passengers through blue agave plantations to La Rojeña, the oldest distillery in Latin America, in historical wooden train cars.

Source: Reuters (en), Bloomberg (en), Milenio (sp), Notimex (sp)

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