Seagram Company Ltd.
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The Seagram Company Ltd. was a Canadian multinational conglomerate formerly headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. Originally a distiller of Canadian whisky based in Waterloo, Ontario, it was once the largest owner of alcoholic beverage lines in the world. Toward the end of its independent existence, it also controlled various entertainment and other business ventures. Its purchase of MCA Inc., whose assets included Universal Studios and its theme parks, was financed through the sale of Seagram’s 25% holding of chemical company DuPont, a position it acquired in 1981. Seagram later imploded, with its beverage assets wholesaled off to various industry titans, notably The Coca-Cola Company, Diageo, Infinium Spirits, and Pernod Ricard. Universal’s television holdings were sold to media entrepreneur Barry Diller, and the balance of the Universal entertainment empire and what was Seagram was sold to French conglomerate Vivendi in 2000.