Pernod pours cold water on move for Beam

on 07/09/11 at 10:34 am

Industry

Pernod Ricard has poured cold water on speculation it might make a move for Beam Global, saying big acquisitions will not be on its agenda until next summer at the earliest.

Chief executive Pierre Pringuet last week appeared to leave the door open for a move for the spirits business of Fortune Brands, but Pernod’s finance chief Gilles Bogaert told a London briefing yesterday that the company is instead focused on cutting debt to meet targets set for June 2012 and regaining its debt investment grade rating.

“Our priority is deleveraging,” Bogaert said. “Massive acquisitions short term are not on the agenda, but we are open to tactical moves.” He confirmed that with the current valuation of Beam Global sitting at almost US$9 billion, that would certainly count as a “massive” deal.

Fortune aims to spin off its home and security business on 3 October, and its spirits company, re-named Beam, will start trading on 4 October.

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