Allied Domecq is to seek clarification this week from Pernod Ricard about stories in the press that the French group is considering a takeover bid for Allied.

The UK's Sunday Times reported yesterday that Allied had not been approached by Pernod Ricard but a spokesman was quoted saying: "If these rumours are true it would be nice to have some clarification from Pernod Ricard."

Late last week, reports emerged that Pernod Ricard was looking at Allied Domecq as a potential acquisition. Although the two drinks companies have not been in contact yet, sources said Pernod had asked J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley to explore potential acquisitions among a list of companies that will allow it to expand its global reach.

The Sunday Times said it was understood that advisers for Allied will contact Pernod this week.