French drinks firm Pernod Ricard is preparing to sell at least E1bn ($890m) worth of assets to offset some of the debt it will take on following its joint acquisition of Seagram's drinks business, the Financial Times reported Thursday.The French company indicated on Wednesday that Orangina-Pampryl, its soft drinks unit, BWG, an Irish retail distributor, and SIAS, a fruit processing unit, would be sold soon. At a later stage, Pernod's 1.3 per cent stake in Societe Generale, the French bank, is also likely to be sold. The Seagram acquisition will increase Pernod's debt fivefold to about $5bn. Patrick Ricard, chairman, said "We have the capacity to reduce our debt pretty rapidly. In four or five years time, we will be totally at ease." The Seagrams purchase will double Pernod's business and reduce its reliance on its traditional aniseed liqueurs. On Wednesday its shares shares gained 9 per cent to E68.5 in Paris.