The US consumer goods group Fortune Brands has confirmed it is in talks about launching a joint bid with Pernod Ricard for Allied Domecq.

In a statement yesterday, the company, which owns spirits company Jim Beam Brands, said it confirmed "that it is working closely with Pernod Ricard regarding Pernod Ricard's potential offer."

It added that as noted in Allied Domecq's announcement, "discussions between Pernod Ricard and Allied Domecq are at an early stage and there can be no certainty that an offer for Allied Domecq will ultimately be forthcoming. A further announcement will be made in due course."

No other details were given.