UK: Allied and Diageo bids alone in Seagram race - paper
Allied Domecq and the joint Anglo/Franco team of Diageo and Pernod Ricard were alone in the first round of bids for Canadian drinks giant Seagram, according to the on-line arm of UK paper The Independent.The report said that expected bids from Bacardi and Brown-Forman failed to materialise before the closing date for the first round of offers on Friday. At one point both companies were also linked to a joint bid with Allied. But Philip Bowman, Allied's CEO is thought to be confident he can fund an offer, perhaps without even going to the market with a rights issue.The paper said that the joint Diageo/Pernod Ricard bid has a complex structure which reflects the greater financial muscle of the British company as well as the anti-trust problems it would have in buying Seagram's drinks.Diageo, it is thought, will own 60% of the Seagram business but most of the major brands will go to Pernod.Allied, meanwhile, was reported to have received a boost by Vin & Sprit (V&S), the Swedish makers of Absolut vodka. V&S are apparently supporting its bid for Seagram, who currently have the international distribution rights to Absolut.The Independent went on to say that Allied may even acquire the rights to Absolut should it lose the fight for Seagram's drinks.
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