Reports out of Australia this weekend have claimed that Coca-Cola Amatil could be gearing up for a major acquisition push, possibly for Foster's Group.

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald today (19 May) has said that financial services provider Macquarie Group has placed a valuation restriction on CCA, sparking rumours that the Australian drinks company may be lining up a move for Foster's, through its joint venture with SABMiller in Australia, Pacific Beverages. A spokesperson for SABMiller declined to comment on the speculation when contacted by just-drinks.

The Australian newspaper cited unnamed sources in its report, which suggested that recent comments from CCA's managing director, Terry Davis, that the company was interested in acquiring the Schweppes brand from Cadbury, could be "a decoy for something much larger".

While no-one was immediately available for comment at CCA today, a spokesperson for the company was cited in the report as saying: "I don't have any comment about that. That's speculation."

Speaking after the company's AGM last week, Davis said: "It would make sense for us to look at (Schweppes)."

The competitive landscape in the Australian beverage market had changed from nine years ago, when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission knocked back CCA's application to buy the brand in Australia. "That was before my time," Davis said last week. "I'm not sure that our submission was as good as what it would be today."