Brazilian billionaire Lemann May Target Diageo
Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann mulls bid for drinks giant Diageo. Reuters

Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann and his partners in private equity firm 3G Capital could table a bid for drinks giant Diageo.

Lemann, who is Brazil's richest man, and partners Marcel Telles and Beto Sicupira, are in the initial stages of studying a buyout offer for London-based Diageo, Brazilian newsweekly Veja reported in its Radar column, without elaborating.

The news boosted the US-listed shares of Diageo, which finished 8.04% higher in heavy trading on 5 June, logging their biggest gain in six-and-a-half years. The firm's London-listed shares settled 1.09% lower on Friday.

Pursued by Reuters, Diageo had no immediate comment while representatives at 3G Capital in Rio de Janeiro could not be reached.

Diageo, the world's largest producer of spirits, owns some of the world's leading liquor brands including Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray gin, Don Julio tequila and Guinness beer.

Lemann and American billionaire Warren Buffett bought H J Heinz Co in 2013. In 2010, he acquired Burger King from Diageo.

Harvard-educated Lemann is the chief investor at 3G Capital. His equity company controlled 65% of the Brazilian beer market before embarking abroad to merge with Belgium's Interbrew in 2004 to form InBev, which purchased US brewer Anheuser-Busch in 2008.