SOURCE: Allied Domecq PLC

July 04, 2005 09:01 ET


Bristol, UK -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 4, 2005 --

Not for release, publication or distribution, in whole or in part, in or into or from Australia, Canada or Japan

4 July 2005


Speaking to shareholders at the Court Meeting and Extraordinary General Meeting of Allied Domecq PLC today to approve the Scheme of Arrangement, through which it is proposed that the recommended Offer by Pernod Ricard ("the Offer") will be effected, Chairman Sir Gerry Robinson said:

"On 21 April 2005 the Board of Allied Domecq announced that it had reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended Offer by Pernod Ricard to acquire the entire share capital of Allied Domecq. It is intended that the Offer be implemented by way of a Scheme of Arrangement under section 425 of the Companies Act.

Under the basic terms of the Offer, Allied Domecq shareholders will receive 545 pence in cash and 0.0158 of a New Pernod Ricard Share for every Allied Domecq Share.

Consolidation has been a focus for speculation and comment in the wines and spirits sector for several years. Over the past five years Allied Domecq has delivered high levels of organic growth in a buoyant spirits sector. However, more recently, while the Group has continued to outperform and has delivered consistently strong earnings growth, this has been achieved against much more difficult trading conditions in many markets.

In these increasingly challenging market conditions, your Board considers that the need for further consolidation in the distilled spirits industry has become increasingly apparent.

The recommended Offer from Pernod Ricard provides Allied Domecq Shareholders with the ability to crystallise the value that has been achieved and the possibility of continuing to participate in the future success of Allied Domecq's brands within an enlarged Pernod Ricard business.

On 13 May 2005 Allied Domecq announced that it had received an indicative proposal regarding a potential Offer by a Consortium consisting of Constellation Brands Inc, Brown-Forman Corporation, Lion Capital and Blackstone Group ("the Consortium"). Your Board continued to work with and to discuss this indicative proposal with the Consortium to ascertain whether the proposal was capable of translating into a firm offer for Allied Domecq. However, on 17 June 2005, the Consortium issued an announcement confirming that after careful consideration following due diligence it had decided not to pursue an offer for Allied Domecq."

A further announcement containing the results of the Court Meeting and the Extraordinary General Meeting will be made in due course.



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