Diageo Stays Out of Allied Fray - at a Price

08 June 2005

Pernod Ricard's drinks mega-party that is bidding to buy the world's number two liquor company, UK-based Allied Domecq, has opened its doors to a VIP guest: global market leader Diageo.

The latter promises it will remain a wallflower at the £7.4 billion ($13.49bn, €10.97bn) takeover bash, in return for Pernod's Bushmills Irish whiskey brand and an option to acquire Allied's New Zealand wines.

The pact is a blow to Pernod's main bidding rival, a consortium led by US-headquartered Constellation Brands, which had hoped for a cash injection from Diageo to bolster its offer.

London-domiciled Diageo, whose brands stable includes Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker scotch, has agreed to pay £200 million for Bushmills and £320m for Montana Wines, if Pernod is successful in its quest for Allied.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff