Becherovka maker sold to French company

06-12-2001

French drinks giant Pernod Ricard last week agreed to buy the Czech government's controlling stake in the 200-year old Jan Becher company, maker of the uniquely flavoured herbal liqueur Becherovka. The deal had been held up by a trademark dispute involving the government, Ricard and a Czech man who claimed rights to Becherovka's secret recipe - his claim was based on an alleged deathbed wish of his grandfather, former company owner Alfred Becher. Mention Becherovka to most Czechs and they will make a joke about Prime Minister Milos Zeman - Mr Zeman likes a drink and the drink he likes is Becherovka.