Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg

Citadel Targets Distiller Pernod Ricard in Its Largest Public Short

Kenneth Griffin’s Citadel LLC is betting against French distiller Pernod Ricard SA in its largest publicly disclosed short position, according to a regulatory filing.

Citadel Europe LLP, an affiliate of the Chicago-based firm, is shorting about 1.33 million shares worth about 157 million euros ($183 million), according to data compiled by Bloomberg following a filing with French market regulator AMF earlier this week.

Citadel and Pernod Ricard didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Shares of Pernod Ricard, the world’s second-largest distiller, have risen 13.5 percent this year as demand for its Jameson Irish whiskey in the U.S. has helped deliver consistent sales growth. Among 32 analysts rating the stock, JP Morgan’s Komal Dhillon is the only one advising clients to sell it, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Short interest in Pernod Ricard reached 4.2 percent of shares outstanding on Thursday, up from a 12-month low of 1 percent on March 8, IHS Markit Ltd. data shows.

In April, the company reiterated its forecast for organic profit growth of 2 percent to 4 percent this year. The maker of Absolut vodka and Havana Club rum embarked on a cost-cutting drive in September last year following declines in its Scotch business in China.

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