The German spirits distiller Schwarze & Schlichte Markenvertrieb has thrown its hat into the ring of possible buyers for the alcohol division of the country's drinks producer Eckes AG.

Schwarze & Schlichte spokesman Dieter Kiefer said this week his company would be interested in looking at the business.

Eckes decided at the beginning of October 2002 to sell its alcoholic beverage business to focus on production of fruit juices

Schwarze & Schlichte now joins the likes of Allied Domecq and Pernod Ricard on the list of possible suitors.