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World-records business is sold for $63 million

SHARE World-records business is sold for $63 million

LONDON (AP) — Drinks company Diageo Plc has agreed to sell its Guinness World Records business for $63 million in cash, the company said Sunday.

The business, which compiles, accredits and publishes information on world records, will be bought by media company Gullane Entertainment Plc.

Although Diageo owns the Guinness brewing business, Gullane will keep the name for use with the world records title., which has sold more than 80 million copies.

Created by the merger of Guinness and GrandMet in 1997, Diageo is the world leader in wines and spirits, with labels including Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Gordon's and Baileys. Last year it linked up with Pernod Ricard of France to buy Seagram's wine and spirits business for $5 billion.

"The sale of Guinness World Records underlines our commitment to focus on our core business as the world's leading premium drinks company," said Nick Rose, Diageo's group finance director in a statement. "We're confident that Gullane will provide Guinness World Records with the right platform for its further development."

The Guinness Book of Records was first published in 1955 when Sir Hugh Beaver commissioned the McWhirter twins, Norris and Ross, to compile a first edition.

The book is now sold in more than 77 countries and in 38 different languages. Guinness World Records has a turnover of just over $32 million and profits of $8.4 million.

"Guinness World Records is an outstanding intellectual property which significantly enhances Gullane's position as a family entertainment studio," Gullane chief executive William Harris said.

Completion, subject to approval by Gullane's shareholders, is expected to take place in July.