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IRISH DISTILLERS, AN AFFILIATE OF PERNOD RICARD, ENTERS INTO EXCLUSIVE NEGOTIATIONS WITH SAZERAC FOR THE SALE OF PADDY IRISH WHISKEY

05/03/2016

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Tuesday 3rd May 2016 - Irish Distillers, an affiliate of Pernod Ricard, has entered into exclusive negotiations with Sazerac regarding the sale of the Paddy Irish Whiskey brand, the 4th largest Irish whiskey brand in the world. The transaction, if completed, would involve Irish Distillers continuing to produce Paddy Irish Whiskey at its Midleton Distillery. There would be no impact on roles at Irish Distillers; all employees would remain in place under current terms and conditions.

Commenting on the proposed deal, Mark Brown, President and CEO of Sazerac, said: “In the global market, Irish whiskey experienced the fastest volume growth in the last five years, outpacing all other spirits categories. Consumers worldwide are seeing it as an alternative to other whiskies. If this deal goes through, we are confident that we will be able to take Paddy to the next level, building on its strong history and roots.

Anna Malmhake, Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers, stated: “At the heart of everything that Irish Distillers does is a desire to see Irish whiskey grow. This deal with Sazerac, if completed, would allow Irish whiskey’s reputation and footprint to grow further internationally. The proposed deal would ensure that Paddy would continue to be produced with the same love and care by our team in Midleton, Cork.”

The proposed divestment of Paddy Irish Whiskey is in line with the Pernod Ricard strategy to simplify its portfolio for growth and could facilitate, among other things, targeted investment in other key Irish Distillers’ whiskey brands including Jameson and Powers to support continued growth.

Paddy Irish Whiskey is the 4th largest Irish whiskey brand in the world, selling 200,000 9-litre cases in 28 countries worldwide annually. As the Irish whiskey industry is projecting 100% growth by 2020, an acquisition of the Paddy brand by Sazerac would ensure that the brand is positioned for sizeable investment to support its future growth.

Subject to pending negotiations, Irish Distillers and Sazerac expect to sign and complete the transaction simultaneously in the following weeks. An announcement will be made if and when the transaction is complete.

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