Wednesday 18 September 2019

Pernod chief in regular and 'courteous' talks with Elliott

Pernod Ricard boss Alexandre Ricard Photo: Christopher Bellew/Fennells
Pernod Ricard boss Alexandre Ricard Photo: Christopher Bellew/Fennells

Irish Distillers owner Pernod Ricard is having regular and "courteous" talks with activist investor Elliott, although it is not necessarily meeting Elliott any more than it would with any other regular shareholder, the head of Pernod claimed.

In a telephone interview, CEO Alexandre Ricard said "There is a regular dialogue between the teams, but we do not see them more than other shareholders. My ambition remains to deliver on our strategic plan."

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Pernod, which is the world's second-biggest spirits group behind Diageo, is under pressure from the New York hedge fund to improve profit margins and corporate governance - potentially by selling assets.

In February, Pernod vowed to lift its margins and shareholder returns under a three-year plan.

On speculation that Pernod could sell the whole or part of its wine business, which accounts for roughly 5pc of group sales, Ricard said: "Pernod Ricard has the firm intention to continue to actively manage its portfolio, in terms of either selling or buying."


Irish Independent

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