UK – The British alcoholic beverages company Diageo Plc is considering to sell some of its US focused brands likely to fetch between US$500m and US$1 billion, reported Bloomberg citing information from a person familiar with the matter.

Diageo is said to be struggling with maintaining profitability for its lower-end brands, such as Goldschlager schnapps, Popov vodka, Myers’s rum and Romana Sambuca, as consumers have shifted preference for more expensive options and less alcohol.

According to the unidentified person, Diageo has appointed Centerview Partners to manage the possible sale which concerns a portfolio of U.S.-focused brands considered to be no longer core as it focuses on higher-end labels.

The London distiller seems to be focusing on flagship labels like Johnnie Walker scotch and new acquisitions to strengthen their global portfolio.

Under its Chief Executive Officer Ivan Menezes, the firm completed the acquisition of the ‘fastest growing’ super-premium tequila Casamigos brand in the US, granting them an opportunity to strengthen its participation in the fast growing tequila category.

In recent years, Diageo has also divested other assets such as its roster of wine brands and the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, according to Bloomberg.

“We regularly review our portfolio to ensure we are maximizing shareholder value,” a Diageo spokesman said.

Diageo which also owns Smirnoff and Guinness brands is also reported to be struggling for profitability for its higher-end vodka brand, Smirnoff challenged by revival in dark spirits such as bourbon and cognac.

On the announcement of the sale process which is expected to last for several months, its shares rose as much as 2.1% in London.

The firm, with a market capitalisation of close to 67 billion euros reported a 6.1% rise in operating profit to US$2.56 billion demonstrating a continued positive momentum at its half-year results in January.

Despite macroeconomic uncertainty in Africa, Diageo managed to garner higher net sales in the region having increased from less than 11% in 2016 to over 14% in the first half of FY 2018.