Brown-Forman has declined to comment on further speculation linking it to a possible merger, this time with Bacardi.

A report in the Sunday Telegraph in the UK yesterday (19 April) claimed that the US-based wine and spirits company has hired Lazard to advise it on its options, ranging from selling individual brands to a merger with Bacardi.

Last week, Diageo was the focus of a move for Brown-Forman, although just-drinks understands such a move is highly unlikely.

When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for Brown-Forman said: "It is Brown-Forman policy not to comment on, or respond to rumours or media reports, about such issues."

No-one was immediately available for comment at Bacardi, but just-drinks understands from a source close to the company that there has been conact with Brown-Forman regarding a tie-up.

Last month, Brown-Forman posted a slight lift in net profit for the first nine months of its fiscal year, despite slowing sales in its third quarter.