Bacardi is the latest major drinks company thought to have teamed up with a local private equity firm, in its hopes to win the auction for Sweden's Vin & Sprit group.

Earlier this week, press reports claimed front-runner Fortune Brands has partnered with private equity group Nordic Capital, with Fortune taking control of V&S's Absolut vodka brand, and Nordic Capital taking control of the Distillers and Wines units of V&S, should the US firm win the bidding process.

Swedish dailies Dagens Industri and Dagens Nyheter have reported today (27 March), however, that Bacardi is looking for a similar split with Stockholm-listed private equity company Ratos.

No-one at Bacardi was available to comment on the reports when contacted by just-drinks today. A spokesperson for Fortune, meanwhile, said earlier this week: "We respect the confidentiality of the process established by the Swedish government and don't plan to comment on speculation."

The second round of bidding for state-owned V&S is thought to have closed today, although confidentiality agreements with the Swedish government prohibit interested parties from discussing the process. As well as Fortune, the other companies thought to be in the second round are drinks companies Pernod Ricard, Bacardi and Swedish private equity group EQT.