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 148,478 pages of information and 233,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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A world leading food and drinks business[1]

Grand Metropolitan began as a hotel business, named Grand Metropolitan Hotels in 1962. It moved into industrial catering by the acquistion of Express Dairies and Berni Inns. To this was added Mecca and brewery companies (Truman, Hanbury, Buxton and Co and Watney Mann), the group becoming Grand Metropolitan Ltd.

1980s Grand Met took over the US Liggett Group Inc (producers of wines and spirits), Warner Holidays, Inter-Continental Hotels Corporation, Heublein Inc (wines and spirits) and companies in the United States. It divested some of its entertainment interests but through International Distillers and Vintners it owned the brands Smirnoff Vodka, J. and B. Whisky, Bailey's Irish Cream, Gilbey's Gin, Piat Wine Croft Sherry and Croft Port.

1997 Diageo was formed from the merger of Guinness and Co and Grand Metropolitan. The creation was driven by the two executives Anthony Greener and Philip Yea at Guinness plus George Bull and John McGrath of Grand Metropolitan. The product portfolios of Guinness and Grand Met were largely complementary, with little overlap.

1998 Sold Inter-Continental Hotels Corporation to Bass[2]

2000 Diageo sold Pillsbury to General Mills.

2002 Diageo sold the Burger King fast food restaurant chain to a consortium led by the US firm Texas Pacific for $1.5 billion.

2015 Total employees worldwide are 33,362 of whom 10,998 are in Europe.[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, November 02, 1998
  2. The Times, August 05, 1998
  3. 2015 Annual Report