A bid for Southcorp, the Australian winemaker, by brewer and winemaker Foster's may result in a round deconsolidation according to some industry watchers.

Analysts are predicting that Foster's will sell some of its wine brands in order to satisfy the competition authorities if it buys Southcorp. The front contender to buy the brands so far is fellow Australian McGuigan Simeon.

"Foster's will certainly have more brands than they need, and it would certainly make life easier with the ACCC if they flick a few off to someone," a banking source told Reuters this morning.

It is thought a bid from Foster's could also stir interest from other quarters. With Diageo and Constellation already busy assimilating recent acquisitions, Allied Domecq has been named as a possible rival suitor for Southcorp. The UK-based wine and spirits group has looked at acquiring in Australia before when it was beaten in a takeover race for Peter Lehmann Wines.

However, with Foster's already owning a 19% stake, it may already be too late for rival bids.