Pernod seeks buyer for Becherovka brand in Czech Republic-sources
LONDON, April 1
LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - Pernod Ricard is looking to sell its Becherovka liquor brand in the Czech Republic in a deal that could be worth up to $200 million, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Interested parties may include Stock Spirits Group, SPI Group and other eastern European-based interests, said the sources, who declined to be named as the matter is private.
The French wine and spirits company, the world's second-biggest behind Diageo, is being advised by Societe Generale, said the sources. One source said non-disclosure agreements were sent out last week to possible bidders, while another said first-round bids were due this Friday.
Officials for Pernod, Stock Spirits and SPI declined to comment. Societe Generale was not immediately available.
Becherovka is made from a blend of plants and spices and is often drunk as a digestive, similar to Fernet Branca or Jagermeister.
Pernod Ricard, whose leading brands include Martell cognac, Mumm champagne and Absolut vodka, has been hurt by its exposure to China, where a government crackdown on graft-related gift giving has crimped sales of cognac, as well as weak trends in Europe. (Additional reporting by Dominique Vidalon in Paris; Editing by David Holmes)