CL World Brands has shelved plans to form a manufacturing joint venture in India with local spirits group Tilaknagar Distilleries & Industries, just-drinks can reveal.

Reports in India today (19 October) claimed that Tilaknagar directors had approved a proposal from the UK-based spirits group to form a venture, which would produce its brands in the country under licence.

However, CL World Brands, which boasts a spirits stable including Angostura rum and Sobieski vodka has put the plans on hold after undertaking due diligence of the company.

Yorrick Fonseca, CL World Brands business development director for the Indian market, said the company was interested in entering the bottled-in-India sector - where products enjoy a lower duty rate than imported liquor - but was considering its options.

Fonseca told just-drinks that CL World Brands could restart talks with Tilaknagar but added: "We're re-evaluating our stance and looking at other potential partners. We're also looking at perhaps having a 100% local subsidiary rather than a venture."

CL World Brands has its sights on becoming one of the world's top 10 spirits producers, an ambition it stated when it bought a controlling stake in French vodka producer Belvedere last year.

Earlier this week, the company launched a series of spirits brands in India as part of its assault on the top-end bottled-in-origin sector. Brands in the category are mainly sold in India's top hotels, which enjoy a tax break from the Indian government.

CL World Brands unveiled brands including its range of rums, Hine Cognac and Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky.

Those brands are import and distributed by the company's local partner, Bombay-based SV Distributors.

Fonseca added: "What we're focusing on is the bottled-in-origin market where we hope to establish the brands at a high level."