French spirits group Pernod Ricard SA has placed its entire 100 percent stake in Pernod Ricard Korea Imperial Co., owner of Korea’s No.3 whisky brand “Imperial” up for sale reportedly at up to 80 billion won ($71.4 million) amid sagging sales of hard spirit in Korea, according to investment bank sources on Thursday.
“Imperial” is home-grown Scotch whisky first hit the Korean market in 1994, but it has been manufactured and sold by Pernod Ricard Korea Imperial since the world’s second-largest wine and spirits seller Pernod Ricard took over Imperial’s original owner Jinro Ballantines in 2000. Once-top seller currently ranks No. 3 in the whisky market.
It is reported that JP Morgan is leading the sale deal with an estimated price tag of between 60 billion won and 80 billion won.