Pernod Ricard has defended its decision to propose a so-called "poison pill" mechanism despite admitting is not under threat from a hostile takeover.

At a shareholder meeting on 7 November, the French drinks giant will ask investors to vote on a resolution that will allow the company's board to issue warrants convertible into shares at a discounted price in the event of an unsolicited takeover approach.

The tactic, introduced by the French government earlier this year, would make the company far more expensive to any potential suitor that did not win over its directors.

A number of French firms including luxury goods group Hermes International have already put the mechanism into practice.

A Pernod spokesman told just-drinks that the company was "not any under threat from hostile bids" but added: "If you are given this possibility by the law, then why not use it? It would be good for our shareholders in the case of a hostile bid as it will defend the value of their stock."