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EU says yes' to Pernod deal

Published:  23 July, 2008

Pernod Ricard's bid to take over Allied Domecq has crossed an important administrative hurdle after the European Commission gave its approval to the deal last week.

The Commission's verdict is subject to a number of undertakings by Pernod Ricard, including the implementation of its Framework Agreement with its partner in the deal, Fortune Brands. Should the deal go through, Pernod will also be obliged to dispose of the Glen Grant, Old Smuggler and Braemer Scotch whisky brands, and the 1920 and CR&F Portuguese brandies.

The deal is by no means completed, however. It still has to be approved by the shareholders of both Pernod Ricard and Allied Domecq, and must also meet with the approval of anti-trust authorities in both the US and Canada. If it succeeds, however, it would give Pernod Ricard brands including Ballantine's Whisky, Beefeater Gin, Malibu and Kalhua, as well as Champagnes Mumm and Perrier Jout.

This clearance is an important step in this transaction,' said Patrick Ricard, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard. The transaction offers us exciting opportunities and will position Pernod Ricard firmly as the number two in the worldwide spirits business, and number four in wines.'