US authorities give Pernod nod for takeover

1st July 2005, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, July 1 (AFP) - US authorities have given Pernod Ricard the green light for its proposed takeover of Britain's Allied Domecq, the French beverages group said in London on Friday.

LONDON, July 1 (AFP) - US authorities have given Pernod Ricard the green light for its proposed takeover of Britain's Allied Domecq, the French beverages group said in London on Friday.

"Pernod Ricard is pleased to note that the US Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice have granted clearance of its acquisition of Allied Domecq. The clearance is subject to the implementation of the framework agreement with Fortune Brands," Pernod said in an official statement.

Pernod's EUR 10.7 billion offer on April 21 for Allied -- maker of Beefeater gin and Teacher's whisky -- was made with assistance from US peer Fortune Brands, which produces Jim Beam bourbon.

The US Federal Trade Commission and the DoJ have given clearance for most of the brands Pernod was planning to sell to Fortune Brands.

The FTC was still reviewing the sale of the Canadian Club and Maker's Mark bourbon brands and Pernod would hold on to those for the time being, the statement added.

"We welcome this clearance," said Patrick Ricard, chairman and chief executive officer of Pernod Ricard, whose brands include The Glenlivet whisky and Havana Club rum.

In response, Pernod jumped 1.52 percent to EUR 134 in Paris while Allied Domecq gained 1.33 percent to GBP 6.84 (EUR 10.12) in London trade. The British capital's FTSE 100 index of leading shares gained 0.71 percent to 5,149.70 points.

Pernod was given the go-ahead for the Allied deal from the European Union last week and on Thursday its shareholders approved an increase in the company's share capital, mainly to finance the deal.

"We now look forward to the outcome of the Allied Domecq shareholder meetings on Monday and believe that we remain firmly on track for meeting the proposed timetable with completion occurring by the end of July," Ricard said.

Allied shareholders were to vote on July 4 on whether to support the board in accepting the 670-pence (EUR 9.92) per share offer, which has already been recommended by management of the British drinks giant.

The acquisition also remained subject to the approval of the Canadian antitrust authorities.

US group Constellation Brands, the biggest seller of wines in the world, said on June 17 that it had decided against a counter-bid, clearing the path for Pernod.

The French group hopes to create the second-biggest spirits and wines company worldwide and the number one spirits company outside the United States.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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