April 11, 2019 / 8:34 AM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Marie Brizard cooperates with competition watchdog after raids in the sector

(Adds details; Remy Cointreau, LVMH, Pernod Ricard reaction)

April 11 (Reuters) - Marie Brizard Wine and Spirits (MBWS) said on Thursday it would cooperate with France’s anti-trust authority after raids on companies in the wines and spirits sector.

France’s anti-trust watchdog said on Wednesday it had targeted companies suspected of possible anti-competitive practices, not disclosing the names of those involved or the specific rules that may have been violated.

A Remy Cointreau spokeswoman told Reuters on Thursday that the group had not been targeted by the action while LVMH declined to comment. Pernod Ricard had on Wednesday denied being a target.

MBWS, which owns the Sobieski vodka and William Peel whisky brands, said in a statement it had supplied all of the information in its possession. It also reiterated its commitment to respect all of the rules and regulations to which it is subject.

The raids did not imply the companies were guilty, the watchdog had said.

MBWS, struggling to turn around its declining business, said last month it expects its 2018 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to remain negative at 28 million euros.

Shares in the company, which was founded in Bordeaux in 1755, were 1.2 percent lower at 0825 GMT. (Reporting by Piotr Lipinski in Gdynia Editing by Keith Weir Editing by Keith Weir)

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