Foster's Group has vowed to appeal a ruling in Australia that could see it faced with a hefty tax bill.

The Australian drinks giant said yesterday (31 May) that it would appeal a decision from the Australian Taxation Office, which said Foster's could not claim losses from Elders Finance Group, a former Foster's subsidiary.

Foster's had tried to claim A$237m (US$177.2m) as a tax deduction from the losses incurred by Elders Finance Group in the 1980s and 1990s.

The decision from Australia's tax authorities could force Foster's to pay the A$237m. However, as Foster's has yet to be hit with an assessment, any bill would not take effect for several years. Nevertheless, the company said it would "vigorously pursue its appeal rights in this matter".

It added: "Foster's remains confident of the position it has adopted and, should the ATO issue assessments, Foster's intends to vigorously defend the deduction claims."