PERNOD WINS for V&S
France’s Pernod Ricard SA has won an auction to acquire Sweden’s Vin & Sprit AB, the maker of Absolut vodka, people familiar with the matter said. The details of the winning bid weren't immediately clear but V&S, which is owned by the Swedish government, was expected to fetch as much as $7 billion. Absolut is the world’s third-largest premium liquor in terms of volume, after Diageo PLC’s Smirnoff vodka and Bacardi rum. Fortune Brands, which teamed up with Nordic Capital, a private-equity firm, was thought by some to have a leg up because it already distributes Absolut in the US. Two other bidders – Bacardi Ltd. and a group comprising Swedish investment firms EQT Partners AB and Investor AB – earlier fell out of the running.
-Wall Street Journal