FRANCE: Pernod Ricard looks to up debt limit, silent on V&S link
Pernod Ricard has confirmed its plans to bid for Swedish drinks company Vin & Sprit, but added that its recent decision to up the limit of its fund raising has been a decision "independent" of any forthcoming plans.
Speaking to just-drinks today (4 October), a spokesperson from Pernod said: "Pernod Ricard is proposing to increase the limit amount of new debt from EUR3bn to EUR5bn."
The spokesperson said that this was due more to the increased size of the group over the past two years than any proposed move to buy Vin & Sprit later this year.
"On the other hand, Pernod Ricard proposes to reduce the limit to EUR170m nominal of new share, 50% of capital, compared to a current limit of EUR200m, 70% of capital," said the spokesperson, adding: "Levels have been adapted to potential forecast needs."
When asked if the company was raising capital for an approaching bid for Vin & Sprit, the spokesperson said: "Pernod Ricard is, as expressed previously, still interested in the acquisition of V&S. The delegation increase is for 26 months and it's independent from any specific operation."
The proposal to up the debt limit will be voted on at a general meeting to be held on 7 November. The company will also use the meeting to okay a two-for-one share split, scheduled to take place early next year. "The share will be more affordable to the shareholders after the split," the spokesperson added
Finally, the spokesperson confirmed that the company has nominated Nicole Bouton to join the company's board.
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