Todays press reports into Pernod and Fortune's hopes to buy Allied Domecq warn of possible conflicts and set a date for completion.

In Les Echos today (8 April), analysts have warned that the offer would cause a major shift in the sector and could also create tension in existing partnerships and in distribution.

The newspaper highlights that Fortune Brands is a member of global distribution network Maxxium, with Remy Cointreau. If the US company acquires Courvoisier through its purchase of Allied, then it will be in direct competition with Remy Cointreau, which sells its Remy Martin brandy via Maxxium.

The Times, meanwhile, reports that the two companies are rushing to complete due diligence on their joint bid in the next two weeks to reduce the chance of a counter-bid from rivals. Although the paper does not quote any sources, it suggests that the two are hoping to announce a bid of about GBP9.2bn including debt alongside Allied's interim results on 21 April.

The Financial Times reports that pension scheme trustees at Allied are planning to seek external advice on the impact a bid might have. The trustees met yesterday, the paper says, to discuss the talks between Pernod, Fortune and Allied.

Under the terms of the trust deed, the paper notes, any change of ownership at Allied would give the pension trustees power to demand reassurances from the purchaser about the future viability and funding of the UK pension scheme.

The newspaper quotes Allied saying: "Members can be reasssured that any decisions of the trustee boards will be based on the trustees' obligations to act in the best interests of all members."