Diageo (NYSE: DEO), the world’s leading premium drinks company, and General Mills are pleased by today’s vote of the Federal Trade Commission which resulted in no action being taken against the proposed acquisition of Pillsbury by General Mills.

The two companies are committed to completing the acquisition of Pillsbury, and the divestiture to International Multifoods Corporation (IMC) on the terms submitted to the FTC, as soon as possible.

Separately, the FTC has challenged the acquisition of the Seagram wine and spirits business from Vivendi Universal by Diageo and Pernod Ricard. However, the FTC, Diageo and Pernod Ricard have agreed to further discussions in an effort to reach a settlement.

Commenting Paul Walsh, Chief Executive of Diageo, said: ‘When we announced the plan to combine Pillsbury with General Mills we made clear our belief that this move represented an excellent future for Pillsbury. It also represents a major step in Diageo’s strategy of focusing on its premium drinks business.

On the Seagram transaction, we are encouraged by the FTC’s willingness to have further discussions which we will pursue over the next few weeks.’

Notes to editor:

Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business. Formed in December 1997 by the merger of GrandMet and Guinness, Diageo has an unrivalled portfolio of brands including Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray, Guinness, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo and Malibu.

In a strategic move to drive organic growth, Diageo is realigning itself behind its premium drinks business, Guinness UDV. To do this, Diageo is exiting its food businesses–the quick service restaurant company Burger King (announced June 2000) and its Pillsbury packaged food business (announced July 2000).

Diageo is a global company, trading in over 180 markets around the world. The company is listed both on the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and on the New York Stock Exchange (DEO). For more information about Diageo, its brands, people and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com.