The way Pernod Ricard was transformed from a medium-ranked French company into a major global player owning some of the world's most coveted brands is chronicled in The Business. Taking over larger British rival Allied Domecq meant it doubled in size to become the world's second-largest drinks company, with anticipated revenue this year of $6.8bn. It is the third largest producer of branded wines, the top spirits company outside the US and the leader in fast-emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, India and China. Now says Patrick Ricard, the chairman and chief executive, the company could soon be able to challenge Diageo for first place. The Business 12/02/06 pages 1 & 4