The Seagram Company Ltd. at one time was known solely for its beverage
business-- it was a global player, producing and marketing distilled spirits, wine
s, fruit juice
s, coolers, beer
s and mixer
s throughout more than 150 countries. Brand
s included Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky
, Crown Royal Canadian Whisky, Captain Morgan
Original Spiced Rum
, Martell Cognac
, ABSOLUT VODKA
, Don Julio Tequila
and Sterling Vineyards Wines.
Then the company bought Universal Studios. Overnight, it was in the entertainment industry, producing and distributing motion pictures (The Mummy, Jurassic Park 3, Gladiator), television (Magnum, P.I., Miami Vice, The A-Team, Murder She Wrote) and home video products; Seagram now owned the world's largest recorded music company, owning A&M Records, Blue Thumb Records, Decca Record Company, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, Geffen Records, GRP Records, Impulse Records, Interscope Records, Island Records, MCA Records, MCA Nashville, Mercury Records, Mercury Nashville, Motown Record Company, Philips, Polydor, Universal Records, and Verve Records. It also owned and operated Universal Studios theme parks and Spencer Gifts retail stores.
The company merged with Vivendi and Canal+ to become Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company, and with the merger, Seagram disappeared as a corporation.
Vivendi, however, saddled with debt (much of it left over from Seagram's purchase of Universal), and not particulary interested in the beverage business, sold the Seagram brand in 2001 to Pernod Richard and Diageo.