PARIS (Reuters) - Pernod Ricard,
Ricard was the son of Paul Ricard, who first marketed pastis, the anis-flavored liqueur, in 1932, and founded the eponymous company which merged in 1975 with its competitor Pernod to create Pernod Ricard.
Patrick Ricard, who joined the company in 1967, had been chairman of the board since 1978 and was also its chief executive officer until 2008, spurring the group's expansion into international markets.
Pernod Ricard, which generated sales of 7.6 billion euros ($9.35 billion) in 2011, owns the Ballantine's, Mumm, and Chivas brands among others and employs 18,000 staff worldwide. It also produces Absolut Vodka, Martell cognac, Perrier-Jouet champagne and Glenlivet whisky. ($1 = 0.8132 euros)
(Reporting by Elena Berton, additional reporting by Hélène Duvigneau, editing by Tim Pearce)