Allied Domecq pension fund trustees have warned that they could derail rival bids for the drinks company, according to press reports. The Daily Telegraph said yesterday (19 May) that trustees would ensure that whoever buys the company could adequately fund the group's pension scheme.

The paper quoted the chairman of Allied's pension fund, Ron Amy, as saying: "The trustees have recourse to the regulator and if we felt any bid was not satisfactory, we would go to the regulator who has powers around contributions."

Allied presently has a pension fund deficit of GBP437m, and Pernod Ricard, whose bid has been approved by Allied's board, said it will pay GBP108m into the fund over two years to help plug the gap.

A rival bid for Allied from a consortium led by Constellation is expected in the next few weeks.