Is Pernod eyeing up Treasury Wine Estates?

Shares in troubled Australian wine company Treasury Wine Estates leapt by over 14% today after it was reported that Pernod Ricard was interested in buying its US assets.

Pernod Ricard’s alleged interest in TWE was reported in an interview with Jean-Christophe Coutures, chief of Pernod Ricard Winemakers, in The Australian.

The newspaper reported Coutures as registering an interest in buying the US assets of TWE, which include Beringer, Stags’ Leap Winery, St. Clement and Château St Jean.

Treasury however, was quick to quash the rumours this morning, telling Reuters that it had not been approached by the French drinks giant and was not in talks with Pernod about its American assets.

After Treasury poured water on the rumours, sales in the company dropped from a high of AU$4.38, though remained up by 5.7% to AU$4.06 at 2.25am GMT, Reuters reports.

Pernod Ricard acquired its first US winery last week in the form of the 100-hectare Kenwood Vineyards in California, which it bought from US wine company F Korbel & Bros for a reported US$100 million.

Last month, Treasury’s new CEO, Michael Clarke, said the company’s US assets were too important to give up despite suffering a series of writedowns that resulting in the stepping down of former CEO David Dearie.

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