A consortium led by Constellation Brands has made a tentative approach for Allied Domecq. The move, which has been widely-rumoured for the last few weeks, was confirmed by Allied this afternoon (13 May).

"On 27 April, 2005, Allied Domecq announced that it had received an approach regarding a potential offer by a consortium led by Constellation Brands," Allied said in a statement. "The consortium consists of Constellation Brands Inc., Brown-Forman Corporation, Lion Capital (formerly Hicks Muse Europe) and Blackstone Group.

"Allied Domecq announces that it has now received an indicative proposal from the consortium regarding a potential offer.

"The indicative proposal is highly conditional, being subject to considerable further due diligence, confirmation of financing and a number of other significant conditions," Allied pointed out. "It is too early to ascertain whether the indicative proposal will translate into a firm offer for Allied Domecq."

Constellation confirmed today that a preliminary approach had been made, but also said that there was no certainty that this would lead to a formal offer.

While Allied concluded that it will continue its discussions with the consortium, the UK-based drinks company said that it "will continue to progress the offer made by Pernod Ricard."