Pernod Ricard is the apparent winner in the battle to buy Absolut.
The New York Times, citing information from "people involved in the deal," reports that the French company agreed on Sunday night to acquire the parent of Absolut vodka in a monumental deal which the sources said "may be worth more than $7 billion."
The deal for Vin & Sprit, which was put up for sale by the Swedish government, had drawn bids from such companies as Diageo, Bacardi and Fortune Brands.
Absolut, which debuted in 1979, is the third-largest spirit brand in the world, behind Smirnoff vodka and Bacardi rum.
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