The UK-based wines and spirits group, Allied Domecq, has made its A$4.00-per-share offer for the Australian wine group, Peter Lehmann Wines (PLW), unconditional.

Allied's decision, predicted by many observers, is a significant step as the PLW board said last week that it had recommended the lower rival bid from the Swiss company, Hess Group, because of the Allied conditions. The Hess offer currently on the table is for A$3.85-per-share (A$143.6m), 3.9% lower than Allied's offer.

"PLW shareholders can now compare two unconditional offers, which both provide for payment within five days of acceptance," said Allied's CEO, Philip Bowman. "We look forward to receiving the endorsement of the PLW independent directors and encourage PLW shareholders to accept our offer without delay."

The Australian company's board, which said last week that the premium offered by Allied was not sufficient to compensate for the risk created by the Allied conditions, is to meet tomorrow to consider the enhanced Allied bid.