Britain's Grand Metropolitan raised its offer for...

Britain's Grand Metropolitan raised its offer for control of Martell, the 273-year-old French Cognac producer, to the franc equivalent of $508 a share, up from a previous offer of $481. Canada's Seagram started last month's bidding at $446 a share for the Martell family's 41% stake in the company. Seagram refused to comment on Grand Met's latest move, but a spokesman cautioned that the French government had not yet decided the fate of the Canadian company's bid, which the Paris Bourse ruled violated its takeover rules. Grand Met holds nearly 20% of Martell's shares, plus a contract to distribute its brandy in the Far East and Europe.

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