The English food and beverage group Diageo Plc. with headquarters in London is the largest beverage multinational in the world. In 2009, the group employed over 24,0000 people worldwide. The sales volume this year was € 10.64 billion. Diageo was formed in 1998 from a merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan under the name UDV (United Distillers & Vintners). In 2000 the company was renamed Diageo. The artificial word is made up of "Dia" (lat. tag) and "Geo" (grch. world). This symbolizes that the company produces products that are consumed daily all over the world. The beverage product range includes wine, spirits and beer of absolute top brands. The top-selling or strategic products are the beer brand Guiness, as well as the spirits brands (no. 1 or no. 2 worldwide) Buchanan, Bushmills, Crown Royal, J & B, Johnnie Walker, Windsor(whisky), Ciroc, Ketel One, Smirnoff(vodka), Captain Morgan(rum), Baileys(liqueur), Tanqueray(gin), Jose Cuervo(tequila).
There are numerous daughters, for the wine business this is Chateau & Estate Wines Company, headed by Ray Chadwick as president. In California, it owns the Blossom Hill, Beaulieu Vineyard, Monterey Vineyard, Sterling Vineyards and Sterling Vintners Collection wineries, as well as the Chalone Wine Group. The Justerini & Brooks trading house in London is also part of the estate. The company is also the exclusive importer to the USA of products from the Bordeaux trading house Barton & Guestier, as well as the largest importer of wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy. Among them are top addresses like Château Haut-Brion, Château Margaux and Château d'Yquem. As the last deal so far, the Turkish multinational Mey Içki Sanayi (formerly state-owned Tekel) was taken over in 2011.
Since 1997, the French group LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) has held 11% of the shares in the Diageo Group. In 2004, Diageo announced that some of its products (including wines) would be equipped with precise information on calorie and carbohydrate content. This was in response to the US government's approval to allow nutritional information on wine and spirits bottles. See also Globalization and a list of the most important companies among the largest wine companies in the world.