Reports in the Irish Republic suggest that the Irish distiller, Cooley Distillery, has been in takeover negotiations with an international drinks group. The company's chairman, John Teeling, is understood to have held talks in London and Paris over recent weeks.

Cooley is known to have been looking for a strategic partner for some time and it is also thought that a takeover bid would be welcomed if the price were right.

The company was thought to have come close to being taken over by CL Financial, the company which owns the Angostura bitters brand, last year which which would have valued the company at €30m.