Move Follows Seagram Brands Acquisition

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BOSTON ( -- Having acquired several Seagram Spirits & Wine Group brands, spirits company Pernod Ricard is shaking up its U.S. operations.

The French company today renamed its U.S. business Pernod Ricard USA from Austin, Nichols & Co.

On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission gave Vivendi Universal permission to sell the Seagram business to Pernod Ricard and Britain's Diageo. The $8.1 billion dollar sale is expected to close today.

Pernod Ricard flagship brand will be Seagram's Chivas Regal. Other Seagram brands going to Pernod Ricard include Seagram's Gin and Margaritaville Tequilla.

The company's new head of marketing is Kevin Fennessey, who had been senior vice president and general manager for Seagram, North America-Atlantic and Pacific regions.

With the new brands, Pernod Ricard becomes the sixth-largest spirits company in North America.

The corporate headquarters will move to White Plains, N.Y., in January from Harrison, N.Y.

A spokeswoman said she did not know if the realignment would affect Seagram's agencies, which include Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, New York.

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