Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), the Foster's Group subsidiary, has signed a new agreement with French drinks group, Pernod Ricard, which will see the former Seagram brands currently being distributed by CUB transferred back to Pernod Ricard's own distribution operations in Australia and New Zealand with effect from 14 June 2002.

The former Seagram brands were acquired by Pernod Ricard as part of its joint acquisition of Seagram with Diageo in December 2001. They include Chivas Regal scotch whisky, Martell Cognac, Seagram gin, The Glenlivet malt whisky, Royal Salute scotch whisky and the Lochan Ora scotch whisky liqueur, as well as the Strathisla, Glen Keith, Longmorn and Benriach scotch brands.

However, under the new deal, CUB has secured rights to bottle and distribute 100 Pipers Scotch whisky for the next 15 years. It has also signed an improved long-term bulk spirit supply arrangement with Pernod for CUB's core spirit brands, Cougar bourbon and The Black Douglas scotch whisky, and will receive a cash settlement to compensate for the early release of the former Seagram brands.
CUB managing director, James King, said: "The package of benefits received by CUB under the new agreement with Pernod Ricard will adequately offset any EBIT loss resulting from the early termination of the existing agreement."  He also said CUB had secured improved long-term spirit supply agreements with Pernod to support its activities in the fast-growing pre-mixed spirit drink market.