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Pernod Ricard’s Completed Acquisition of V&S


Pernod Ricard is pleased to announce the completion of the acquisition of V&S Vin & Sprit AB (“V&S”). This follows the decision by the European Commission on 17 July 2008 to authorise Pernod Ricard to acquire 100% of the shares in V&S in accordance with the agreements concluded between the Kingdom of Sweden and Pernod Ricard on 30 March 2008. The transaction is valued at €5.69 billion, including debt.

Pernod Ricard’s Completed Acquisition of V&S
The acquisition of V&S enables Pernod Ricard to assume co-leadership of the global wine and spirits industry. ABSOLUT, the number one premium vodka worldwide, is the ideal addition to complete Pernod Ricard’s brand portfolio and makes the Group the second-largest player in the US. In addition, the local brands V&S brings with it will add to Pernod Ricard’s critical mass in the Nordic markets.

In keeping with its decentralised 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 notably 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. Ketil Eriksen has been appointed CEO of ‘The Absolut Company’ and reports to Thierry Billot, Deputy Managing Director of Pernod Ricard in charge of Brands.

- ‘Pernod Ricard Nordic’ will market Pernod Ricard’s international and local brands in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, the Baltic States and Iceland. The company has been created by merging V&S Wine (the leading north-European wine producer and importer), V&S Distillers (the leading north-European producer and distributor of regional and local spirit brands) and Pernod Ricard Nordic Countries (the current Pernod Ricard distribution subsidiary in the Nordic region). Michel Mauran becomes its Managing Director, reporting to Laurent Lacassagne, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Europe.
In addition, Rolf Cassergren has been appointed Chief Operating Officer in charge of Finance, Marketing, Communications and Operations for Pernod Ricard Nordic. He reports to Michel Mauran.
Bengt Baron, the current CEO of V&S, will assist with the integration of V&S into Pernod Ricard until 31 October 2008, when he will leave the Group. Pernod Ricard would like to thank Bengt Baron for his outstanding contribution to the development of V&S over the years and to the remarkable success of ABSOLUT.

Furthermore Anders Narvinger has agreed to continue his position as Chairman of the Board of V&S.

A number of assets will be disposed of:
 ■ The V&S brands Grönstedts Cognac, Red Port, Star Gin, Dry Anis and Lubuski Gin
 ■ Serkova vodka, owned by Pernod Ricard
In addition, the distribution agreements for Stolichnaya vodka outside Russia and for Royal Canadian whisky in Sweden will come to an end.

Commenting on the transaction’s success, Patrick Ricard, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, said: “After Seagram and Allied Domecq in 2001 and 2005, this is the third transformational acquisition for the Group. This operation will substantially accelerate the growth of both the ABSOLUT brand, which will benefit from the Group’s worldwide distribution network, and Pernod Ricard, which will strengthen its presence in the US and in the Nordic markets.”


Ketil Eriksen
Born in 1963, Ketil Eriksen holds a BSc. in Economics from the Oslo School of Business Administration. From 1999 to 2005 he was General Manager of Colgate-Palmolive in Sweden and Finland, joining V&S Absolut Spirits as President in 2005. He sits on the board of Maxxium Future Brands.

Michel Mauran
Born in 1961, Michel Mauran graduated from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Lyons and holds a MBA from ISG Paris. In 1995, he joined Pernod Ricard as successively Managing Director of the Taiwanese subsidiary and Pernod Ricard’s joint venture in China.In 2005, he became Chief Executive Officer of the Nordic markets and Pernod Ricard Denmark.

Rolf Cassergren
Born in 1958, Rolf Cassergren graduated from Stockholm University. He has worked for KPMG as an auditor and for Coop Sweden, where he was Chief Financial Officer. Rolf joined V&S in 1996 as Senior VP, Finance before being appointed Executive VP in 2001 and then President of V&S Distillers in 2004.

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