Market speculation that a takeover bid for Allied Domecq will emerge is beginning to cool down.

The news agency Reuters today (March 2) said that Pernod Ricard, which was thought to be looking for a partner to launch a takeover, has struggled to generate much enthusiasm for the deal amongst other drinks companies.

One banking source was quoted saying: "Don't expect anything soon or at all. There has been some issues with potential partners getting involved."

Speculation began when it was reported that Pernod was studying a possible takeover of the UK-based drinks firm. Although the two drinks companies have not been in contact yet, sources said, Pernod had apparently asked J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley to explore potential acquisitions among a list of companies that will allow it to expand its global reach.

It was thought Pernod would need a partner to help it clear financial and regulatory hurdles in any takeover. Fortune Brands, which owns Jim Beam, was among the favourite possibilities.

However, it is thought many of the potential partners have competition issues with Allied's brands or are family-owned businesses unwilling to give up tight control of their firms.