Pernod Ricard declares thirst for more buying

28th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 28 (AFP) - Pernod Ricard, the world's second biggest wine and spirits manufacturer after its takeover of British rival Allied Domecq, said Thursday it was still looking at other acquisitions amid speculation the French group is interested in buying Taittinger champagne.

PARIS, July 28 (AFP) - Pernod Ricard, the world's second biggest wine and spirits manufacturer after its takeover of British rival Allied Domecq, said Thursday it was still looking at other acquisitions amid speculation the French group is interested in buying Taittinger champagne.

"We are looking at all opportunities in the market," managing director Pierre Pringuet said after the publication of the company's first-half results.

The management of Pernod Ricard is reported to have met counterparts at US investment fund Starwood Capital, the new owner of Taittinger champagne, which is looking to offload the vineyard.

Pringuet declined to comment on the speculation, saying only that Pernod Richard intended to develop "the two very good champagne brands of Mumm and Perrier-Jouet" which were part of the Allied Domecq group, acquired by Pernod in a EUR 10.7 billion deal at the beginning of the month.

Pernod Ricard sales totalled EUR 1.675 billion in the first half of 2005, a 6.5 percent increase from the same period of 2004, owing to strong demand for whisky brands Chivas Regal and Jameson, as well as the cognac label Martell.

Pringuet said Pernod Ricard would double its operational result by its 2007-2008 business year, if not before.

"We have the most dynamic results in the sector," he declared.

Shares in the company were 1.04 percent higher at EUR 136.60 in morning Paris trade, while the CAC 40 index gained 0.75 percent.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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