- Diageo said Monday it would launch an additional share buyback programme after agreeing to sell nineteen brands to Sazerac for a combined total of $550m.

The brands in the sale included Seagram's VO, Seagram's 83, Seagram's Five Star, Myers's, Parrot Bay, Romana Sambuca, Popov, Yukon Jack, Goldschlager, Stirrings, The Club, Scoresby, Black Haus, Peligroso, Relska, Grind, Piehole, Booth's and John Begg.

Diageo also agreed to enter into long-term supply contracts with Sazerac on completion for five of the brands each for a period of ten years, the company said. Supply of all other brands would transition to Sazerac within a one year period from completion.

After tax and transaction costs, the net proceeds of sale were about £34m and would be returned to shareholders through a share repurchase programme, which would be incremental to the previously announced programme of up to £2bn.

The transaction was expected to complete early in 2019, the company said.

'Diageo has a clear strategy to deliver consistent efficient growth and value creation for our shareholders. This includes a disciplined approach to allocating resources and capital to ensure we maximise returns over times' said Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive of Diageo.

'Today's announcement is another example of this strategy in action. The disposal of these brands enables us to have even greater focus on the faster growing premium and above brands in the US spirits portfolio.'

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