French-based international drinks group, Pernod Ricard, has confirmed its interest in buying Malibu from Diageo which is selling the rum specialty brand in order to comply with US regulatory stipulations following its joint acquisition with Pernod Ricard of the Seagram drinks business.

A Pernod Ricard spokesman said that the company was in talks with Diageo regarding Malibu. Other companies thought to have submitted bids are Fortune Brands and Allied Domecq.

Diageo has six months to sell Malibu to meet the terms of the FTC ruling. Allied Domecq is seen by analysts as the most likely of the three companies to be the eventual purchaser.

Even though Pernod Ricard worked with Diageo on the Seagram acquisition, the fact that the French company borrowed extensively to finance its $3.15 billion share of that deal means it is viewed as an outsider in the race for Malibu.