Diageo boss Paul Walsh is confident that its deal with Pernod Ricard to acquire Seagram's wine and spirits business will be approved by the regulatory authorities and be completed by July. He said: "We have nothing which causes us to doubt the transaction will be completed by then". Walsh also insisted Diageo would win control of Seagram brand Captain Morgan. Its future ownership was in doubt when Allied Domecq struck a deal with its Puerto Rican distiller Distillera Seralles. Ownership will be the subject of a court ruling. Walsh said Diageo was particularly interested in acquisitions in the premium wine business ­ if the price was right. He refused to comment on the stalled talks to buy California's Kendall Jackson. He also signalled his determination to develop the global potential of the Guinness brand. He said Diageo's new focus on premium drinks brands was paying off: Guinness UDV reported a 14% rise in operating profit to £834m in the six months to December 31. Turnover was up 6% at £4,064m. {{NEWS }}

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