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Pernod Ricard and Wuliangye sign strategic alliance

French drinks group Pernod Ricard has signed a strategic partnership with Chinese baijiu maker Wuliangye International to boost its presence across Asia.

Wuliangye baijiu is the world’s second most valuable spirits brand

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding on 14 November.

The agreement will help the firms to “carry out collaborative communication and comprehensive exchanges by jointly strengthening infrastructure, developing regional sales channel systems starting from Southeast Asia, with potential expansion to other markets in Asia outside of China and beyond, at a later stage”.

The “landmark collaboration” will allow Pernod Ricard and Wuliangye to “capitalise on shared resources to boost their joint development in both the Asia and global spirits markets”.

Philippe Guettat, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Asia, said: “We are excited to form a new strategic partnership with a respected baijiu leader, Wuliangye, and embark a new adventure together.

“Imported spirits and baijiu have both enjoyed a long and glorious history in their respective markets. Joining our forces and expertise today marks a historic milestone in the industry.

“Leveraging Pernod Ricard’s established network and experience, I am sure this partnership will bring unprecedented innovative forces to the market.”

Li Shuguang, party committee secretary and chairman of Wuliangye Group, added: “The Asia market beyond China will be a very important stepping stone for Wuliangye as it treads into the international market.

“Wuliangye attaches paramount importance to its partnership with Pernod Ricard and is confident that by working together we will expand across the Asia market.”

According to the Brand Finance Spirits 50 2019 ranking, Wuliangye baijiu is the world’s second most valuable spirits brand and is valued at US$16 billion.

The partnership comes just three months after Pernod Ricard announced plans to build China’s first malt whisky distillery as part of a US$150 million investment.

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