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New CEO for Pernod Ricard UK

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jean-Manuel Spriet was appointed CEO of Pernod Ricard UK earlier this month.

He takes over from Paul Duffy, who has been appointed CEO at Irish Distillers, one of Pernod Ricard's key brand-owning companies.

Spriet brings considerable experience to the role and the management team, having held senior positions with Pernod Ricard brand-owner and sales and marketing companies, as well as the Holding Group.

He arrives at a crucial period for the company and will have to deal with merging the UK interests of Pernod Ricard and its takeover target Allied Domecq - which now appears to be almost a done deal.

Spriet joined Pernod Ricard in 1990 and has spent the past three years as CEO of Jan Becher, the leading importer of spirits in the Czech Republic. Prior to this, Spriet was finance and administration director of Orangina, Pernod Ricard's soft drink business based in Aix en Provence, France.

He returned to the Pernod Ricard Holding Group in Paris in 1998 as deputy finance director, when Pernod Ricard announced its strategic decision to sell Orangina and refocus on its core business, with the part acquisition of the Seagram's portfolio.

Before returning to France, Spriet moved to Adelaide, Australia, in 1993 as finance and administration director of Orlando Wyndham.

Spriet will be leading the company's 200 employees in growing its share of the UK wine and spirits market.

Pernod Ricard has cleared the last major regulatory hurdle in its attempt to take over its larger rival Allied Domecq.

The Canadian Competition Bureau said last week that it was planning to take no action' against the planned deal. The EU and US regulatory authorities have already given their approval to the deal.

The Scheme of Arrangement will therefore become effective from 26 July, as previously announced.

The combined group will become the second largest spirits group in the world, and the fourth largest wine group.