Allied hit as Pernod hopes fade

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The Independent Online

Shares in Allied Domecq, the UK drinks group, slid 5.25p to 323p yesterday as long-running hopes of a takeover bid by France's Pernod Ricard evaporated.

Shares in Allied Domecq, the UK drinks group, slid 5.25p to 323p yesterday as long-running hopes of a takeover bid by France's Pernod Ricard evaporated.

Pernod, which had indicated that its decision on whether to bid for Allied could hinge on the successful disposal of its Orangina business, yesterday learned that its planned FFr4.7bn (£455m) sale of the brand to Coca-Cola had been blocked.

The French government ended over two years of uncertainty by vetoing the deal for a second time yesterday. Christian Sautter, France's finance minister, said Coca-Cola had failed to allay the competition concerns which had been raised by French antitrust authorities.

Pernod did not comment directly on the implications for its hopes of acquiring Allied. It had hoped to use the proceeds from the Orangina sale to beef up its presence in the more profitable alcoholic drinks sector.

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