LONDON: The world's biggest alcoholic drinks vendor, Diageo, has agreed a $900 million (€615.5m; £461m) sales, marketing and distribution deal for Dutch premium vodka brand Ketel One.

The 50/50 agreement with owners, the Nolet family, comes hot on the heels of Diageo's decision not to pursue Swedish vodka rival Absolut.

The joint venture allows the family to retain ownership of Ketel One, while Diageo expands its spirits portfolio.  

Says ceo Paul Walsh: "This transaction is strategically important for Diageo, giving us an interest in an outstanding high quality brand and fantastic potential for global growth in the super-premium vodka segment."

Diageo and its new partners hope to further boost the growth of Ketel One in the US, the brand's biggest market.

Absolut, meanwhile, owned by Vin & Sprit, is still being pursued by Pernod Ricard and US-based Fortune Brands, among others. 

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff