Pernod Ricard India set to take over Seagram’s local operations this week

New Delhi, February 11: | Updated: Feb 12 2002, 05:30am hrs
Seagram's wine and spirits operation in the country will be acquired by Pernod Ricard India this week. Pernod Ricard group chairman and CEO Patrick Ricard will be in the country to announce the acquisition of the Indian operations.

Seagram managing director Param Uberoi will head the merged operations. After the acquisition, Seagram, as a company, will cease to exist and its brands will come under the Pernod Ricard umbrella.

This merger is a follow up of the international takeover of Seagram by Pernod Ricard and Diageo for $8.1 billion on December 21, 2001.

Talking about the worldwide acquisition of Seagram, Mr Ricard said: "I would like to say how excited we are by this acquisition which represents a unique opportunity to redefine the industry worldwide. I believe that Seagram’s portfolio of brands has a distinguished heritage and a great future within our group".

Sources said "after the operations are merged, Pernod Ricard will focus on the growth of the global priority brands of Seagram and Pernod Ricard. It will look at the ready-to-drink sector also’’.

He said: "Because of the strong performance of Indian manufactured foreign liquor (IMFL) brand Royal Stag in major markets, it will continue to be a major brand within our portfolio".

"New marketing strategies will be taken to boost the sales of Pernod Ricard brands which have not been doing as per expectations in India", sources added.

He said, "while overall volume and net sales of Seagram India have continued to grow at comparable rates and helped the company register profits, Pernod Ricard has still to break even in India".

After taking over Seagrams, the two international liquor giants split Seagram brands and business based on the framework agreement signed between them. The Indian operations came to Pernod Ricard. Brands that were acquired by Pernod Ricard are Chivas Regal, Glen Grant, Royal Salute and Glenlivet whiskies as well as Martell Cognac and Seagram’s Extra Dry gin. Pernod Ricard also acquired Seagram’s several leading national brands in Latin America, Asia including India and Europe.

In addition, Pernod Ricard will own Seagram’s scotch whisky manufacturing and bottling facilities in Scotland.

As per the deal worked out between Diageo and Pernod Ricard, the latter had contributed approximately $3.15 billion that is 38.6 per cent of the total purchase price.

The Seagram brands that Diageo got are Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Seagram 7 Crown, Seagram VO and Seagram chateau and states wine, together with a number of other key businesses.

Pernod Ricard has a world-class portfolio through the acquisition and development of international brands (Jameson, Havana Club and Jacob’s Creek). The company is looking at introducing this range in India within the next couple of years.