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Pernod Ricard to Acquire Allied Domecq

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NEW YORK Pernod Ricard and Allied Domecq had been neck and neck as they vied to become the No. 2 spirits company in the world. Now following months of speculation, Pernod has won the battle as it will acquire Allied Domecq for a reported $14.2 billion with the help of Fortune Brands.

Pernod, which said the deal is expected to close by August, will get Beefeater, Malibu, Ballentine's, Kahlua, Tia Maria, Mumm and Perrier Jouet while also working to keep the distribution rights for Stolichnaya.

Fortune Brands, which owns Jim Beam Brands, will dole out $5.4 billion for Courvoisier, Sauza, Maker's Mark and Canadian Club.

Allied Domecq brands Dunkin' Donuts, which has been making strides in taking on Starbucks, as well as Baskin-Robbins and Togo's, are expected to be sold off to help fund the purchase.

Dunkin' spends $70 million annually on ads, per Nielsen Monitior-Plus. Interpublic Group's Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston serves as lead agency. Hill and VitroRobertson in San Diego share the $10 million Baskin-Robbins business. Publicis Groupe agencies Publicis and Zenith Media, both in New York, work on $25 million worth of Allied Domecq's liquor brands.

Fortune's primary shops are Havas' Arnold in Boston and Omnicom Group's BBDO in Chicago. Pernod agencies include WPP Group's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell and BrandArchitecture, both in New York, and G/1 in Paris.

The acquisition makes Pernod a much more formidable foe for industry giant Diageo. Diageo, which is in the midst of restructuring, owns eight of the top 25 best-selling spirits brands.