Pernod Ricard executives insist they will try to sell off Anglo Irish wholesale group BWG as a single entity. BWG was put up for sale last year as part of a series of disposals to recoup the cost of acquiring Seagram assets, including Chivas Regal whiskey and Martell cognac. Selling off BWG in one piece would probably "maximise its price," said Pernod Ricard joint md Richard Burrows, speaking at the company's full year results presentation. But he would not reveal whether potential buyers had only expressed interest in parts of BWG. The company's businesses include west country Spar wholesaler Appleby Westward, the Mace franchise in Northern Ireland, Spar franchise in the Irish Republic, a chain of cash and carry outlets and a catering company. It was "inappropriate at this stage" to comment on the likelihood of a management buyout led by BWG chief executive Leo Crawford, added Burrows, who set the ball rolling last week by hiring Societe Generale to handle the sale. But Dublin based analysts are convinced an MBO was the "most likely scenario," as they were "struggling" to think of trade buyers who would be interested in taking on the complete package. "BWG has been doing extremely well, especially in Ireland. My guess is that the existing management will want to run with it, with private equity backing," said one commentator. Meanwhile, Pernod is still wrangling with Cadbury Schweppes over the price of its Orangina and Yoo Hoo drinks brands. And chairman Patrick Ricard revealed the company may now have to wait until May (a month later than anticipated) to get the thumbs up from regulators over the $8.15bn Seagram deal. Even that "may be a little optimistic" admitted Burrows. Nevertheless, Pernod is pressing ahead with integration plans for Seagram acquisitions "country by country, brand by brand". A sterling performance from top brands Jacobs Creek wine, Havana Club rum and Clan Campbell Scotch whiskey, pushed pretax profit up by 8.4% to 368.9m euros on sales up 22% to 4.38bn euros. Like for like sales in the core spirits and wine categories were also up 6%. {{NEWS }}