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BRIEFLY

December 18, 1987

Seagram's quest for control of Martell may be challenged by Grand Metropolitan, a huge London-based food, hotel and beverage group. Seagram Co., a Canadian beverage concern, shocked the French wine industry by buying a 40% stake in the Cognac maker from the Martell family, boosting its stake in the firm to 52%, and offering to acquire remaining shares. Grand Met, which holds a 19.9% stake, said at Martell's annual meeting in Paris that it "is assessing the validity of this sale." Grand Met is concerned about maintaining a distribution and marketing agreement with Martell.

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