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Tequila Maker Jose Cuervo Announces $1 Billion IPO

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Jose Cuervo, the world’s largest tequila maker, announced Tuesday that it will conduct an initial public market and finally become a publicly traded company. Although its filing revealed limited details about the IPO, Jose Cuervo’s debut is expected to generate between $750 million and $1 billion.

The company is family owned and run by the Beckmann family of Mexico, direct descendants of Don Jose Antonio de Cuervo, who first produced the beverage in 1795. It is North America’s premier tequila brand and holds roughly one-third of the worldwide market share.

The stock sale will be handled by local units of Morgan Stanley (MS - Free Report) , JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Free Report) , and Banco Santander (SAN - Free Report) , as well as local brokerage GBM Grupo Bursatil Mexicano. Jose Cuervo also announced that the funds from the IPO will be used to fund growth and broaden its portfolio.

As the U.S. tequila market has shifted toward high-end, 100% agave brands, Jose Cuervo has attempted to increase its own premium offerings. It faces steep competition from UK-based rival Diageo , which tried to purchase Jose Cuervo in 2012. Just three years later, Diageo sold its Bushmills Irish whiskey brand to Cuervo in exchange for Cuervo’s 50% stake in Don Julio premium tequila.

In its filing, Jose Cuervo said it had 2015 sales of nearly 20 billion pesos ($1.02 billion), which was up roughly 25% from 2014. In the first half of 2016, Cuervo reports revenue of 12.2 billion pesos.

Jose Cuervo was one company identified in our IPO Market Outlook for Second Half of 2016, based on research from IPO-based firm Renaissance Capital. For more IPO predictions from Renaissance, check out this exclusive interview with co-founder Kathleen Smith and the Zacks Friday Finish Line team:

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