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Pernod Ricard launches €1.04bn rights issue

Pernod Ricard has launched a €1.04bn discounted rights issue as the French drinks group posted a 12 percent drop in like-for-like third-quarter sales.

The world’s second-largest drinks company also confirmed its targets for the fiscal year to June as it unveiled the details of a fund-raising scheme aimed at reducing its debts of more than €12bn.

Last week, Pernod announced it was selling Wild Turkey to Italy’s Campari for $575m, and chief executive Pierre Pringuet has said the group is planning on selling other “important but not indispensable brands”.

Pernod Ricard shareholders can now buy three new shares for every 17 held at a price of €26.70 each, or a 36 percent discount to the closing price of April 14.

Meanwhile Pernod Ricard’s founding family has announced details of a deal to buy out Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings’ 3.74 percent stake in the group.

Societe Paul Ricard, the holding company of Pernod Ricard’s founders, has agreed to buy the 8.23 million shares from Kirin for an undisclosed amount after the completion of Pernod’s capital increase.

The family’s stake in Pernod Ricard will rise to 16.17 percent of the capital and 22.02 percent of the voting rights once the deal is completed.

Alan Lodge, 15.04.2009

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