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Pernod Ricard beats the pack in V&S auction

Published:  23 July, 2008

Pernod Ricard announced today (March 31) it has acquired Vin & Sprit (V&S) beating Fortune Brands to the purchase.

The drinks firm will pay 5.26 billion, including debt, for the owner of the Absolut Vodka brand.

An 85 million dividend will be paid to the Swedish government by V&S.

Pernod Ricard felt that Absolut - with global annual sales of around 11m cases - fitted well within its premium label strategy.

Chief executive Patrick Ricard said: "The acquisition of V&S by Pernod Ricard is a fantastic opportunity and represents our third transformational acquisition since the Seagram and Allied Domecq transactions.

"Absolut is an exceptional brand. Its integration within our portfolio of premium brands combined with the strength of our worldwide distribution network paves the way for outstanding growth prospects.?We become thus the co-leader of the global wine and spirits industry."

A statement from the V&S board read: "Pernod Ricard is a well-reputed company in the industry, with international brands as well as strong local presence. They take a long-term industrial view and have stated their ambition to continue to develop V&S's operations. The Board sees considerable industrial logic in the deal."

The deal will be completed in summer 2008 subject to regulatory approval.