Diageo Ireland has sold its holding in drinks distributor Edward Dillon & Co, according to press reports. The Irish Times said over the weekend that the company will now distribute the brands previously handled by Dillon itself. The sum of the sale was not disclosed.

The newspaper cites sources saying that, based on volume, Diageo brands represented about 6% of Dillon's activities, but Diageo's stake in the company was much larger at about 30%.

In a statement, Dillon said: "This agreement follows management-led discussions with the shareholders in Edward Dillon: Bacardi, Brown-Forman, Diageo and Moët Hennessy in advance of the 2006 anniversary of their distribution agreements."

Bacardi, Brown-Forman and Moët Hennessy have now agreed to buy the Diageo stake, although the parties refused to disclose the purchase price, the Irish Times said.

"Pursuant to this agreement, Bacardi, Brown-Forman and Moët Hennessy will increase their shareholdings to take up the full issued share capital of Edward Dillon and have each entered into new long-term distribution agreements with the company," said the company.

The brands' distribution will switch to Diageo Ireland on 1 October.