France’s top 10 richest drinks barons

9. Alexandre Ricard and family

Worth: €4.3bn
Company: Pernod Ricard
Sector: Wines and spirits

A family and company that needs little introduction to any serious member of the drinks industry and even those that don’t know the company will certainly heard of its brands: the eponymous Ricard pastis, Absolut vodka, Jameson, the Glenlivet, Beefeater, Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Martell Cognac and Havana Club to name its core spirits brands.

It has a strong wine portfolio as well, headed up by the Champagnes Perrier-Jouët and Mumm and then the ‘strategic’ wine brands Campo Viejo, Brancott Estate, Jacob’s Creek and Kenwood.

The company as it exists today was created in 1973 when two of France’s leading “anise-based spirits producers, Pernod and Ricard, merged in 1973. By 1976 it began to diversify its portfolio and acquired Irish Distillers (the maker of Jameson) in 1988 and Jacob’s Creek in 1989. In 2001 its acquisition of 40% of the Seagram’s business brought Chivas, Martell and The Glenlivet into its portfolio and the Champagne brands came in 2005 with the acquisition of Allied Domecq; a move which also made it the world’s second largest wine and spirits company.

The current chairman, Alexandre, became chairman in 2015 following the death of his uncle, Patrick, in 2012.

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