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Diageo Opens the Doors of Its New $20.2 Million Bottling Facility in Plainfield, IL

PLAINFIELD, Ill., Aug. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diageo, the world's leading spirits, beer and wine company celebrates the grand opening of the Company's $20.2 million bottling line today at its Plainfield, IL brand technical center and bottling facility. The 44,000 square foot addition will house a new bottling line for Diageo's line of Ready-to-Serve cocktails, including Smirnoff Pomegranate Martini, Smirnoff Mojito, Smirnoff Grand Cosmopolitan, and Smirnoff Tuscan Lemonade.

In April, the Company announced that it was investing $20.2 million to expand the Plainfield site in order to help meet the rising market demand for Ready-to-Serve cocktails as consumers entertain more at home. This expansion followed investments in 2006 and 2007 that exceeded $25 million.

"For more than 40 years, we have had an excellent relationship with the Plainfield community," said David Cutter President, Diageo Americas Supply. "During that time, Plainfield has grown and developed tremendously and we're pleased to expand our operations and continue to be a key part of this community. This expansion reinforces our commitment to manufacturing in North America and confidence in the continued growth of premium spirits."

In addition to the ribbon cutting ceremony, which will be attended by Diageo executives, municipal officials, community leaders, invited guests and their families will celebrate on the grounds of the plant.

"Diageo is not only a trusted member of our community, but a solid source of employment," said Michael Collins, Mayor of Plainfield. "Over the years, Diageo has constantly shown a willingness to invest in our community and contribute to its growth and prosperity."

Earlier this year, the Illinois legislature voted to raise excise taxes on spirits by 90 percent, giving Illinois some of the highest alcohol taxes in the country.

"Diageo made the decision to invest in Plainfield well before the Illinois legislature stuck consumers with this unfair tax hike that will hurt the state's tourism industry and cost jobs," said Guy Smith, Executive Vice President, Diageo North America. "We will continue to be a positive contributor to the Plainfield and the Illinois community, but these burdensome tax increases make that more difficult, especially in these tough economic times."

Established in the 1960s as a small distillery for United Distillers, the Plainfield site has grown to more than 450,000 square feet and is today one of the largest combined spirits and malt beverage plants in the world. About 26 million cases of spirits and malt beverages are produced in Plainfield every year, including the plant's flagship brand and the #1 distilled spirit in the world, Smirnoff.

About Diageo

Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.

Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE).

For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

    Contact:  Zsoka McDonald, Diageo
              203-229-4730

              Rachel Rosenblatt, FD
              212-850-5697

SOURCE Diageo

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