THE new boss of Pernod Ricard revealed yesterday that the major Scotch whisky producer remained vigilant about any bourbon brands that became available in the United States.
It follows Japanese giant Suntory’s takeover last summer of Beam Inc, the maker of Jim Beam bourbon, with the category the only one missing from Pernod’s drinks stable.
Alexandre Ricard, chairman and chief executive, said: “We are slightly under-exposed to the US given its size. Should opportunities crop up we will clearly look at them. Its a question of the right time and price. I have never said we don’t want to be involved in bourbon.”
Ricard, grandson of company founder Paul Ricard, said there was no urgency, however, as in the US “we can cover ‘the bourbon moment’ with the likes of Jamesons [Irish whiskey]”.
In its annual results last week, Pernod said global Jamesons sales rose 8 per cent, with the US one of its best markets.
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