Belvédère, the troubled French drinks group, has suffered a setback in its recovery plan.

A commercial court in Dijon, eastern France, yesterday (15 December) recognised for the first time the case of creditors due a total of EUR375m (US$546m) from Belvédère.

The group, which owns Sobieski vodka, indicated it will appeal the decision.

Last month, the same court approved a plan to relaunch the drinks firm from bankruptcy protection.

A judge sanctioned Belvédère to schedule debt  payments over ten years, although the group will be forced to sell assets, expected to include Marie Brizard.

Belvédère had debts of EUR579m at the end of June this year.