UK: Pernod Ricard To Question Bacardi's Student Bar Deal

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Pernod Ricard is to check the validity of a decision by the UK supply company to the country's student population to stock only Bacardi-Martini white rum, in essence banning Havana Club, from the National Union of Students (NUS) bars.This is yet a further twist to the ongoing saga between the French wine and spirits giant and Bacardi over the Cuban rum brand. Under the agreement, the National Union of Students Supply Company Ltd., in which the NUS owns a 25% stake, has decided to sign a "sole supply deal" with Bacardi worth £625,000 to sell its white rum at all student venues."From what we understand is that 95% of the white rum sold through student bars was Bacardi-Martini. This contract has now exceeded this figure to 100%. We will naturally be checking this deal to see if it contravenes EU regulations," a Pernod Ricard executive told did admit, however, that legally it might be difficult to successfully launch an anti-competitive case. "It will be difficult under law to prove a monopoly of a specific category of people, in this case students," he said.The NUS has issued a statement distancing itself from the deal, claiming the supply company "was not directly affiliated with the NUS, and has nothing to do with our own stance," a spokesman said.Bacardi refused to comment on the agreement.

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