Market Overview

This Day In Market History: The Guinness IPO

This Day In Market History: The Guinness IPO

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened: On this day 134 years ago, the Guinness Brewery went public on the London Stock Exchange.

What Else Was Going On In The World: In 1886, Nikola Tesla founded Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing Co. The first Groundhog Day was celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. A quart of milk cost 6 cents.

Guinness IPO: Guinness was founded as St. James’s Gate Brewery by Arthur Guinness in Dublin, Ireland in 1759. By 1838, the company had become the largest brewery in Ireland, and by 1886 it was the largest brewery in the world. At the time, the company was producing about 1.2 million barrels of beer per year.

By 1868, the company was valued at more than 1 million pounds.

In 1886, Arthur Guinness’ grandson Edward sold his 65% stake in the company in an initial public offering for 6 million pounds, valuing the company at about 9.23 million pounds. In today’s dollars, that valuation represents about $321 billion. Guinness stock soared 60% on its first day of trading.

Guinness moved its headquarters to London in 1932 in response to the Control of Manufacturers Act.

In 1997, Guinness merged with Grand Metropolitan to form Diageo plc (NYSE: DEO).

Diageo generated more than 12 billion pounds in revenue in 2017. Guinness Draught is still produced at the St. James’ Gate Brewery in Ireland to this day.


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