Pernod Ricard has declined to comment on the most recent set of reports linking the wine and spirits group to a move for Treasury Wine Estates.

Seven years on from claims made in Australia that Pernod had expressed an interest in the wine company’s US assets, fresh speculation surfaced last week about a renewed bid. The latest claims cite unnamed “city sources” suggesting that TWE had “rebuffed” Pernod and that the Jacob’s Creek brand owner “could take a 30% stake instead”.

A separate report claimed a value of “more than” GBP5bn (US$6.93bn) for TWE.

When contacted by just-drinks this week, a spokesperson for Pernod said the company would not be commenting on the claims.

TWE has publicly stated a strategy of dialling down its presence at the lower end of wine’s price ladder in the US. Late yesterday, the group announced the divestment of the Americas licences for several of its US brand’s assets, including two from Beringer, to The Wine Group. The ongoing war of words between Australia and China, however, has placed a bump in the road ahead, with TWE’s Penfolds brand hampered in its key market by China’s imposition of tariffs on Australian wine imports late last year.

The trade row prompted TWE to abandon its investigation into spinning off the Penfolds business into a separate company, choosing instead to realign its portfolio into three reporting divisions last month.

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Pernod meanwhile, has focused its M&A activity on bolt-on transactions in spirits. Following the outright takeover of German gin brand Monkey 47 and stake purchase in Japanese gin Ki No Bi a year ago, the group also bought majority control of Colombian rum La Hechicera at the end of last week.

Industry speculation regarding Pernod has historically centred around a possible exit from wine, although the company went on the record in late-2019 reiterating its commitment to the category.

Why has wine failed to educate the consumer on price? Ask Jacob’s Creek – Click here for a just-drinks comment