Chairman of global drinks group Pernod Ricard dies suddenly at 67
Patrick Ricard, the man who transformed Pernod Ricard into a global wine and spirits company, has died suddenly at the age of 67.
The company did not give details on his death or plans for his succession. But he was reported to have died on Friday at Sainte-Anne hospital in the southern town of Toulon after what is thought to have been a heart attack.
During three decades as chief executive and chairman of the French group, Ricard turned Pernod Ricard from a company famous for its pastis, an aniseed-flavoured liqueur, into a group with sales of €7.6 billion last year.
When Ricard was appointed chief executive and chairman in 1978, three years after the merger of Pernod and Ricard, just 17 per cent of group sales were generated outside France. Today that figure has risen to 90 per cent.
Ricard’s biggest deal was the 2005 agreement to carve up Allied Domecq in partnership with Fortune Brands for £7.5 billion. The deal made Pernod Ricard the world’s second biggest spirits and wine group.
He also acquired Irish Distillers in 1988 following a battle with Grand Met. His last major deal as chief executive was the acquisition of Vin Spirit, the owner of Absolut vodka, for €5.3 billion in 2008. – (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012)