Allied Blenders & Distillers and Tilaknagar Industries have reopened talks over a potential merger, just-drinks has learnt.

Last year, reports out of India claimed the two spirits companies had begun discussions on combining their operations into a US$1bn entity. The negotiations were not confirmed by either side at the time.

However, speaking exclusively to just-drinks late last week, Allied Blenders & Distillers' executive vice-chairman & CEO, Deepak Roy, expressed his company's interest in Tilaknagar, specifically in a majority buyout of the firm. The two sides have not yet agreed on a price, Roy said.

When contacted yesterday, Tilaknagar's chairman & MD, Amit Dahanukar, would not be drawn on the claim. “I can’t name names right now but we are in discussions with many companies towards finding the most suitable partner,” he said.

Allied Blenders is a major player in the Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) category, recording sales of 25m cases within its most recent fiscal year. It owns the Officers Choice range of whiskies. Tilaknagar leads the locally-manufactured brandy market with the Mansion House brand.