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$14.2 BILLION MERGER OF LIQUOR GIANTS PLANNED

British drinks company Allied Domecq PLC has agreed in principle to a $14.2 billion takeover offer from French and U.S. rivals Pernod Ricard SA and Fortune Brands Inc., a person familiar with the deal said Wednesday.

Allied Domecq's board has accepted the broad outline of the offer, but some details remain to be settled before the agreement can be finalized and announced, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity. That could happen as soon as today, the person said.

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