Pernod Ricard has set a ceiling on its future acquisitions, according to press reports. Speaking to Dow Jones Newswires on Wednesday (27 July), the French company's co-managing director, Richard Burrows, said that the acquisition of Allied Domecq, completed this week, rules out any future acquisitions worth over around €1bn.

"The fact of the matter is we've borrowed extensively to do the Allied Domecq transaction," Burrows told the news agency. "We want to pay down debt, and that would preclude any major acquisition activity."

Burrows specified that any acquisition costing more than around €1bn, would be considered major, Dow Jones added.

Industry speculation over the last few days has linked Pernod with a possible bid for the Taittinger Champagne business, which is for sale following the acquisition of parent company Groupe Taittinger by Starwood Capital last week. Starwood is keen to sell the Champagne unit and concentrate on the group's hotel activities. Analysts estimate Taittinger to be worth between €450m and €500m.

When pressed by Dow Jones, Burrows declined to comment on Pernod's interest in Taittinger.