Cobra Beer has declined to comment on a report that entrepreneur Wilbur Ross and brewer Molson Coors have teamed up to buy the firm.

Both Molson and Ross are eying a deal for Cobra, according to a report in last week's Financial Times and a story in the Economic Times of India a week earlier.

Cobra, which has brewing operations in India and sells its namesake beer in the UK, was put up for sale by owner Lord Bilimoria last autumn.

A spokesperson for the company did not deny interest from Molson and Ross when contacted by just-drinks yesterday (21 April), but refused to comment on the matter.

Separately, Cobra had hoped to complete a sale by the end of March, but the process has been delayed, a source familiar with the situation told just-drinks earlier this month.

Commenting on speculation that a deal is near completion, another source close to the company told just-drinks this week that the sale process has not yet reached the final stages.

Cobra said in December that it would be willing to split its Indian and UK operations in order to secure a sale.

Cobra saw volume sales rise 21% in the six months to the end of January, against a UK beer market down 5.5% by volume in 2008, but the company is not thought to be profitable in its current form.