Belvédère has been placed in administration by a French court, according to local reports.

The Sobieski vodka maker, in which Hollywood actor Bruce Willis owns shares, has been placed in administration by a commercial court in the French city of Nimes. Its sister group, winemaker Moncigal, is also in administration, according to reports.

If confirmed, the ruling marks a severe turn for Belvédère, which had hoped to renegotiate a bankruptcy protection deal with the court in order to buy time to agree a debt repayment plan with its creditors.

No one at Belvédère was immediately available for comment when contacted by just-drinks today (20 September). The group's website was also down.