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BRIEFLY

December 31, 1987

Hotel and liquor group Grand Metropolitan PLC has made a counter-bid against Canadian rival Seagram Co. Ltd. for control of French cognac-maker Martell et Cie. British Grand Met, maker of Gilbey's gin, Croft port and Smirnoff vodka, will offer 2,675 francs ($495) a share for Martell. This compares to 2,500 francs ($463) offered by Seagram and accepted in a pledge by the Firino-Martell family for its founder's stake of 43%. Seagram already has acquired more than 11% of Martell in the market. But its bid, based on a private agreement with the Martell family, has run into legal problems over a clause in French stock trading law that says all shareholders, not just family founders, must be consulted.

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