The Italian spirits company, Campari Group, has said it has pulled out of talks with the German group, Eckes, regarding the acquisition of the German company's spirits division. The breakdown in negotiations resulted from the two sides not being able to agree on the value of the companies for sale.

"Since no agreement has been reached with the sellers on the valuation of the business, the negotiation was ended," the Italian group said.

Campari had been considered a possible buyer for the Stock alcohol businesses, particularly as the Italian company renowned for its eponymous aperitif has been in an acquisitive phase. Last year, the company acquired a 50% stake in the US vodka producer, Skyy Spirits, and the Italian spirits company Zedda Piras, which owns 67.6% of the Sardinian wine group, Sella & Mosca.

Eckes announced in October that it was planning to sell off its alcohol division, which has operations in Italy, the Czech Republic and Austria, in order to focus on soft drinks.