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Pernod Ricard to take stake in Mexico mezcal maker Del Maguey

MEXICO CITY, June 7 French drinks group Pernod Ricard said on Wednesday it agreed to take a majority stake in Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, in the latest move by a global company to participate in rising sales of Mexico's increasingly trendy liquor.

Pernod, the world's second-biggest spirits group after Britain's Diageo, said it expected the transaction to close in 90 days. It did not provide details of how much it paid.

Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal was founded in 1995 by artist Ron Cooper. His management team will stay in place, according to the statement.

Mezcal, a cousin of tequila, has become one of Mexico's trendiest liquors as high-end local bottlers produce upscale versions of the drink made from agave cactus, and mezcal bars spread throughout hipster magnets like Brooklyn and Berlin.

Global sales of mezcal rose to $80 million in 2015, according to International Wine & Spirits Research, Pernod said in its statement. (Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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