The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has drawn up plans to lend key Caucasus drinks producer the Georgian Wines and Spirits Ltd US$7.3m to strengthen weaker spots in its production and distribution chain.

The loan would part fund a US$14.5m project focusing on supporting Georgian grape growers and strengthening links with the distribution sector within the company's key Russian export markets.

This - said an EBRD note - would "benefit from stronger marketing support and expansion of distribution", which would also help the company push sales in other former Soviet republics.

The bank is also considering whether to fund general reforms of the organisation of the Georgia wine industry.

Georgian Wines and Spirits is part owned by the Pernod Ricard Group.