Pernod Ricard is to sell Dunkin' Brands to a consortium of private equity groups Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners for US$2.4bn.

Pernod bought the Dunkin' Brands quick service restaurant business as part of the takeover of Allied Domecq in July.

Dunkin' Brands is responsible for the worldwide development, marketing and franchising of Dunkin' Donuts, Baskin-Robbins and Togo's.

The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2006, once certain regulatory authorisations have been obtained. Pernod said it would book around US$1.7bn from the sale and would use the proceeds to reduce debt.

Pernod chairman and CEO Patrick Ricard said: "The sale of Dunkin' Brands, within our expected timetable, is excellent news for Pernod as it allows us to accelerate the reduction of our debt. It follows the sale of our minority stake in Britvic as announced last Friday. It is also good news for Dunkin' Brands' future as they will be able to build on their existing solid platform and on the expertise of their new owners."