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09.2008

Massachusetts Beverage Business

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PERNOD RICARD’S COMPLETES ACQUISITION of V&S

Pernod Ricard has completed the acquisition of V&S Vin & Sprit AB (“V&S”). This follows the decision by the European Commission on July 17th to authorize Pernod Ricard’s acquisition of 1OO% of the shares in V&S in accordance with the agreements concluded between the Kingdom of Sweden and Pernod Ricard on March 3Oth. The transaction is valued at €5.69 billion, including debt.

The acquisition of V&S and the addition of Absolut vodka to Pernod Ricard’s brand portfolio, makes the Group the second-largest player in the US spirits market.

In keeping with its decentralized structure, Pernod Ricard is putting in place two Swedish-based business units within V&S. ‘The Absolut Company’ has the worldwide responsibility of Absolut including production. It becomes part of the brand-owner network, alongside Chivas Brothers, Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët, Irish Distillers, Malibu-Kahlúa International, Pernod Ricard Pacific and the joint venture Havana Club International.

‘Pernod Ricard Nordic’ will market Pernod Ricard’s international and local brands in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, the Baltic States and Iceland.

Pernod also announced it will dispose non-strategic brands over the next 12 to 18 months in an effort to decrease debt levels after acquiring Vin & Sprit. Pernod Ricard will likely divest non-core wine and vodka brands to help pay down debt. The company’s wine assets are no longer considered strategic. French analysts slated Bodegas y Bebidas, a Spanish wine company and owner of Campo Viejo, as the most likely wine divesture. The Argentinean company Graffigna is also likely to go. In terms of spirits, Gronstedts Cognac in Sweden is the biggest disposal planned. Up for sale is also Dry Anis in Finland, Serkova vodka in Greece, Lubuski gin in Poland and Star Gin and Red Port.

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