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Polmos auctions: Vodka under the hammer

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As Irish whiskey comes of age, so do its problems

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Agros Holdings, owned by Pernod Ricard, could lose its exclusive rights to the vodkas Wyborowa and Zubrowka which could open the international floodgates. Simon Meads reports on the future of the vodka brands. The last few weeks has seen two big stories shake and stir the vodka category. First came the news that Brown-Forman Beverages has secured a 45% stake in Finlandia for £55m. Then came the not entirely surprising news - as it had been threatened while going through Parliament - that the Polish government had voted to remove Agros's export rights for the country's 21 Polmoses. Pernod Ricard, which owns a 74% share of Agros, has already warned that the Polmos and any other company trying to distribute the brands, will face a tirade of law suits. Pernod Ricard has been happy to take on Bacardi-Martini in the US over the Havana Club rum rights, so why not the Polish legislature?


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