Patrick Ricard of Pernod Ricard died at the age of 67 yesterday in the French town of Toulon, although not confirmed, it is believed to have been a heart attack. Pernod Ricard owns some of the largest whisky brands on the market including, Chivas Regal, Jameson, Glenlivet, and Ballantines whisky. Pernod Ricard also own some of the lesser known single malt whisky brands such as Aberlour single malt, Longmorn single malt, and Scapa single malt whisky.
Patrick Ricard took control of the French drinks giant in 1978 when ‘Pernod’ and ‘Ricard’ merged their drinks businesses. The company was started by Patrick Ricard’s father who concocted the aniseed flavoured drink in his kitchen back in 1932, in Marseilles. In 1978 the company was only known for the drink Pernod itself, and only 17% of sales volume was outside their domestic market in France. Patrick Ricard has overseen the growth of Pernod Ricard for over 3 decades which has resulted in it becoming the 2nd largest beverage business in the world behind Diageo of the UK.
Patrick was a deal maker and the growth of the business was largely down to his ability to make deals happen. Only in 2008 Pernod Ricard saw off Fortune Brands and the extremely rich Swedish Wallenberg family to purchase Vin & Spirit the owners of the Absolut vodka brand. However it was the deal in 2005 when Ricard and Fortune Brands carved up Allied Domecq of France which saw Pernod Ricard become a real global player. It was after securing the Absolut Vodka brand that Patrick Ricard handed over the day to day responsibility of running the business to Pierre Pringuet.