Bacardi has declined to comment on reports that it may be on the hunt for a new chief executive.

The family-owned company was responding to a report in Scotland on Sunday yesterday that claimed Bacardi has enrolled headhunters to find a replacement for Andreas Gembler, who could move to a senior executive role at Bacardi.

Despite not naming its source, the paper cited an unnamed analyst in its reports, as saying: "They missed out on Absolut, they were not involved in the Allied deal and maybe there is a little bit of concern that the big deals are passing them by and they need someone more aggressive at the helm.

"But it must be very difficult for if you work for Bacardi and see an acquisition. It is hard to raise a lot of money because your hands are constantly tied as the family do not want to float."

When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for Bacardi said: "It is not our policy to comment on press speculation."

Gembler has served on Bacardi's board of directors since June 2003, and was appointed CEO and president in June 2005.