UPDATE 2-Diageo gives up Bushmills for control of Don Julio tequila
* Diageo gets half of Don Julio it doesn't own
* Diageo also gets $408 mln, right to sell Smirnoff in Mexico
* Diageo CFO says no talks about Jose Cuervo brand (Adds CFO comments, background, share activity, byline)
By Martinne Geller
LONDON, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Diageo has agreed to swap its Bushmills Irish whiskey label for full ownership of the high-end Don Julio tequila, as the British drinks group seeks to regain its leading position in tequila and build a bigger portfolio of "reserve" brands.
The world's largest spirits maker said on Monday that it had agreed a deal with the Beckmann family of Mexico to take the fifty percent of Don Julio it does not already own in exchange for its Bushmills Irish whiskey.
Diageo did not give the full financial terms of the deal, but analysts at Nomura estimate its total consideration at 440 million pounds ($704 million).
Don Julio is the top-selling "ultra-premium" tequila in the United States, with bottles ranging from $45 to $375. In the year to June 30, its sales jumped about 27 percent.
That is an attractive clip for Diageo, whose sales are sagging amid a sharp slowdown in some emerging markets that has been only partially offset by the strength of higher-margin "reserve brands" such as Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Ciroc Vodka and Zacapa Rum. Continuación...