CL Financial, the parent of UK-based drinks group CL World Brands, looks set to buy a US distillery from Pernod Ricard.

Caribbean-based CL Financial, whose holdings include rum producer Angostura and Scotch whisky group Burn Stewart, has secured a "tentative agreement" over the site in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Pernod Ricard USA, the local arm of the French drinks giant, announced last year that it would close the site under a move to trim excess capacity in the country following the Allied Domecq takeover in 2005.

The closure was expected to lead to the loss of 400 jobs. However, CL Financial executive chairman Lawrence Duprey said the company's bid for the Lawrenceburg site had been initially accepted due to the synergy benefits and "employment opportunities" it brings. Financial details of the offer were undisclosed.

Duprey added that the planned acquisition would "significantly add" to CL Financial's international spirits portfolio and overall prowess in the market.

Alain Barbet, president and CEO at Pernod Ricard USA, said: "We are extremely pleased to have found a company in our industry that will save jobs by continuing to operate the facility."

The two companies said they would work on finalising the deal but gave no timetable on how long talks were expected to last.