Allied Domecq, the UK-based drinks giant is believed to have shown an interest in acquiring Polmos Bialystock, the Polish distiller that produces Zubrowka vodka.

Reports in the Polish press this week went as far as to say that the Bristol-based owner of Beefeater Gin and Kalhua was on the "verge of taking over" the Polmos.

However sources close to the company denied this was true but did confirm that Allied had applied and received an information memorandum on the distiller from the Polish government.

According to local reports the Polish Treasury Ministry had rejected initial offers some investors had made on the 12th June. Among those previously thought to be interested are Bols, Vin & Spirit and Eckes.

The source could only say that the Polish government still appeared undecided about how to privatise Bialystock and that information on the distiller was made available to see what sort of reaction the market came back with.

This was borne out by local reports, which said that if the Treasury was unhappy with moves to obtain a foreign investor, it might look to sell the company through the Warsaw Stock