Sources in India have named a number possible contenders battling for Guinness UDV's Indian portfolio, which is worth up to £35m.
 
In the lead at present, the reports say, is the Glasgow-based Scotch company Kyndal, which was formed in an MBO last year from JBB's Scotch business.

UDV is selling flagship domestic whisky brands Gilbey's Green Label, Gilbey's White Label, Old Gold and Gold, and a manufacturing unit near Pune so it can focus on its global brands.  The businesses currently have annual sales in the region of £20m (€32m).
 
Kyndal though is facing opposition from a management buyout team led by UDV India boss Deepak Roy, the UB Group, Radico Khaitan, Vam Organics, Bacardi and Allied Domecq.

Brian Megson, the chairman and chief executive of Kyndal Spirits, refused to comment. He told Business am: "Since our management buyout in October, we have always stated our ambition to grow the business both organically and through acquisition. In doing this, there will be a number of discussions that we have, some of which may come to fruition, others which will not. We will, however, not be drawn on speculation as to who those talks are with at any given time."

A decision is expected to be made by Guinness UDV by the end of June, which will maintain a presence in India by continuing to manufacture and bottle alcoholic beverages in the market.