The Bulgarian arm of the French drinks group Belvedere has been asked to begin talks with the Bulgarian Privatisation Agency concerning the 100% sell-off of the state-owned alcohol trader Vinimpex, according to local press reports.

The Agency had been in talks with a consortium of Cyprus-based Westphail Consulting Limited and local wineries Vini and Stara Izba 1924, who had initially won the privatisation tender.

However, a draft deal from the consortium has been rejected and the State authorities have now turned to Belvedere, which came second in the initial tender, the reports said.