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UK: Diageo/Pernod Close to Deal but Captain Morgan may Provide Final Twist

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Seagram has asked for the "best and final bids" today as the race for its drinks business enters its final stages. And as the most compelling auction in the history of the industry draws to an end, there could be one final twist. The Diageo/Pernod Ricard bid remains the front-runner to succeed with an offer understood to be close to $8.2bn. Sources have reported that Diageo and Pernod representatives have been locked in negotiations with Seagram's bankers Morgan, Stanley Dean Witter over the weekend. It has even been suggested that a deal may be reached by today.


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