Pernod Ricard, the owner of Jameson whiskey and Jacob's Creek wine, is to issue a €1.4 billion (US$1.73 billion) syndicated bank loan to refinance borrowings for its acquisition of the Seagram drinks business in 2001.

The loan, the company said, will allow it to repay the debt it still has from the acquisition more favourably. In a statement, Pernod said it would benefit from the "removal of constraints and guarantees of the preceding loan".

Pernod said in a statement that it had mandated BNP Paribas, Calyon, JP Morgan and SGIB to place the multi-currency loan that will mature in five years.

At the end of 2003, Pernod had total debt of €2.1 billion, including €1.601 billion in net debt plus a €508m convertible bond, giving it a gearing of 77%.