Bacardi has been tipped as the most likely winner for the hand of Vin & Sprit, should the Swedish company be put up for sale.

Simon Hale, an analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort, said yesterday (17 September) that he believes Bacardi would be the front-runner for V&S, as it is in a position to pay the highest price for the company. Local reports yesterday also cited the Swedish Ministry of Industry and Trade as picking Bacardi as the best-placed potential bidder.

Among the other purported contenders for V&S are Fortune Brands, Diageo and Pernod Ricard. The latter two, as well as Bacardi, are widely-thought to be at a disadvantage to Fortune, however, as they already have high-profile vodka brands in their portfolios. While Diageo and Pernod have Smirnoff and Stolichnaya respectively, Bacardi owns the Grey Goose brand.

Fortune is believed to be in the strongest position, should the Swedish parliament approve the sale of the state-owned company, due to its distribution deal for V&S' Absolut vodka in the US.

A decision from the Swedish government concerning V&S is expected before the end of the year.