Tequila maker Jose Cuervo files for IPO with Mexican bourse


Mexican alcoholic beverage maker Jose Cuervo, the world's largest tequila producer, on Tuesday filed a prospectus with the Mexican bourse to conduct its long-expected initial public offering.

The filing provided few details about the IPO, but media reports have suggested the company could seek to raise between $750 million and $1 billion.

The company, known officially as Becle, said the stock sale would be handled by the local units of Morgan Stanley , JP Morgan Chase & Co and Banco Santander , and local brokerage GBM Grupo Bursatil Mexicano.

In the filing, the company said it had 2015 sales of nearly 20 billion pesos ($1.02 billion), up from 15.2 billion pesos in 2014. In the first six months of 2016, Cuervo said it had revenue of 12.2 billion pesos.

Net profit in 2015 was 5.3 billion pesos, Cuervo said.

The company said the United States and Canada represent about two-thirds of its sales, while Mexico generates just over a fifth of revenue.

Cuervo has long resisted offers to sell a stake in the company, and talks with its former international distributor, British spirits group Diageo, ended in late 2012. At the time, analysts valued the Mexican company at about $3 billion.

In 2015, Diageo swapped its Bushmills Irish whiskey brand for Cuervo's 50 percent stake in their Don Julio premium tequila joint venture.

Started by Jose Antonio de Cuervo in the late 1700s before Mexican independence from Spain, Jose Cuervo claims to be the oldest continually producing spirits firm in North America.

With origins in the picturesque town of Tequila in Jalisco state, the business is now under the control of the Beckmann family, who married into the Cuervo family a century ago.

(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)