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Monday, March 31, 2008

Pernod Ricard Acquires Absolut for $8.3 Billion

One of the most sought after spirits labels to go up for auction in recent years has a new owner. Pernod Ricard is the new owner of Absolut vodka after agreeing to buy Vin & Spirit AB from the government of Sweden for $8.34 billion.

Pernod Ricard's offer was better than Fortune Brands and other bidders. However, in addition to the hefty sale price, the victory comes at another price: the company will no longer handle sales and distribution of the Stolichnaya brand outside Russia.

With the acquisition of Absolut, the French company now has the second leading vodka brand in the U.S., plus other V&S brands, including Plymouth Gin, Cruzan rum, and Level, Fris and Luksusowa vodka.

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