CCL Industries, a Canada-based company providing specialty packaging solutions for wines and spirits industries, has signed a heads of agreement to acquire Scotland’s spirits labeling company John Watson & Co (JWC).

The transaction, which will complete in early 2014, is subject to contract depending on the financial performance of JWC in 2013, which is currently estimated at around £12m sales in 2012.

Meanwhile, the two companies will continue to work as a combined entity led by Food & Beverage Worldwide president Guenther Birkner and management teams of both John Watson and CCL Label Wine & Spirits business units.

Upon successful transaction, John Watson will change the trading name to CCL Label and become part of CCL’s global Wine & Spirits network allowing it to produce labels for distillers of Scotch whisky and other spirits and complement its operations in Australia, Asia, Latin America, Russia, South Africa, the UK and the US.

CCL Industries president and CEO Geoffrey Martin said the wine and spirits sector continues to be attractive for them as they have built their business by a series of acquisitions, joint ventures and greenfield investments around the world.

"Guenther and his key people have held John Watson & Co. in high regard for a long time and believe the great team that John assembled will allow us to get closer to important global customers located in Scotland. We also plan to support the planned acquisition with further investment in the operation in Glasgow," Martin added.

JWC chairman John Watson said they believe CCL will be a very good home for JWC and that it will take the business to the next level.