Malibu and Beefeater bought as Pernod Ricard swoops on Allied Domecq

LONDON - Alcoholic drinks brands including Beefeater, Malibu and Courvoisier are set to change hands after French drinks group Pernod Ricard and US drinks group Fortune Brands agreed to buy and split up UK rival Allied Domecq in a £7.4bn deal led by Pernod.

Pernod owns spirits including Jameson's and Chivas Regal whiskies and Martell cognac, as well as wine brand Jacob's Creek. It is believed to be keen to expand its liqueur portfolio with Allied's Kahlua and Tia Maria, which would see it mounting a challenge to Diageo's Baileys in the UK.

Pernod has agreed to sell on Allied's Canadian Club, Courvoisier, Maker's Mark and Sauza spirits brands and US wines to Fortune Brands for £2.8bn.

It will keep the rest of Allied's portfolio, and is also believed to be in talks with Russia's SPI Group over acquiring Allied's right to distribute Stolichnaya vodka in the US on behalf of SPI.

The deal also affects Allied's food businesses Dunkin' Donuts and ice cream franchise Baskin Robbins. It is believed that Pernod will sell them off.

Allied hired a new global marketing chief Peter Littlewood from Mars only seven weeks ago to replace Kim Manley, who resigned following a financial probe.

Fortune Brands owns Jim Beam bourbon and Dalmore Scotch whisky.

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