The German drinks group, Eckes, has announced that it has abandoned plans to sell off its alcoholic drinks division having failed to find a buyer willing to meet its valuation.

Eckes originally announced in October that it wanted to divest its alcoholic drinks business and focus on expanding its European soft drinks and juice businesses. "We realised in the last few months that the value we had attributed to (the subsidiaries) could not be met," said the company's CEO, Herbert Verse. "We have decided to stop trying to sell it."

At one stage, the Italian wines and spirits group, Campari, was negotiating to acquire the Eckes spirits businesses in Austria, Italy and the Czech Republic but the two parties could not agree on price and the talks foundered.

Eckes generated total turnover of €1.35 billion in 2002, up 8% on the previous year, with some €675m coming from alcoholic drinks.