The chairman of Pernod Ricard has said he plans to step down in five years' time, according to French newspaper reports. Patrick Ricard, speaking with Les Echos, said he expects to move to become chairman of the supervisory board five years from now, when he turns 63.

Ricard also said that the company will look for acquisitions from mid-2004. Pernod may consider a capital increase to finance any large transactions, he said.

Earlier this month, Ricard announced that the company is targeting future US growth through possible acquisitions and increased business volume.