Pernod Ricard has completed a EUR1bn rights issue that will help to secure the drinks giant's financing until 2013.

Pernod said today (13 May) that investors have bought up more than 38m new shares at a price of EUR26.7 per share, totalling just over EUR1bn.

The shares will begin trading on Euronext Paris stock exchange on 14 May, said the drinks giant, which added that strong demand meant it could have sold more than twice as many.

Pernod said: "This capital increase is part of a set of measures aimed at strengthening the group's balance sheet together with the €1bn non-strategic assets disposal programme now well underway, as well as cash savings resulting from the implementation of the proposed dividend policy for the 2008/2009 financial year."

Much of the rights issue will be used to pay down debt, largely accrued as a result of its EUR5.3bn purchase of Sweden's Vin & Sprit last year.

Analysts believe the rights issue, together with planned disposals, will help to secure Pernod's financing until 2013.