French spirits group Pernod Ricard recently said that it is 'continuously exploring options' for its business portfolio, after an Australian media report that it had mandated two banks to conduct a strategic review of its Australia and New Zealand wine business.
The Australian Financial Review reported that Pernod Ricard has mandated long-time advisers Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan with the review, which could lead to a sale process as early as next month.
The company’s Australian portfolio includes the Jacob’s Creek brand, along with St Hugo and George Wyndham.
It also owns Brancott Estate and Stoneleigh in New Zealand, the paper said.
Continuously Exploring Options
'Pernod Ricard regularly assesses and evaluates its strategic opportunities and is continuously exploring options, including divestments or the streamlining of some or part of individual business units,' Pernod Ricard said in an e-mailed statement.
"This is a usual process in line with management’s mission of delivering value to shareholders, employees, clients and stakeholders. Pernod Ricard nonetheless highlights that, at this stage, no decision has been made regarding any particular action,” it added.
China And US Sales
At the end of August, Pernod Ricard warned that sales would decline in Chinese and US markets in its first quarter to 30 September, sending shares in the drinks group down 4% on Thursday despite forecast-beating annual results.
The company said that the business environment remained volatile but it expected net sales growth for its 2023/24 financial year, with easing inflationary pressures helping its organic operating margin.
However, challenging macroeconomic conditions are expected to drive down sales in China during its first quarter, the group said, adding that a high year-on-year comparison basis will ease from the second quarter.
News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more drinks stories click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.