Constellation Brands has denied that it has been in negotiations with Coopers Brewery over a distribution tie-up in Australia.

Reports in Australia over the weekend had claimed that Constellation had held preliminary talks with Coopers - the subject of a hostile takeover bid from Lion Nathan - over a possible joint venture.

However, a Constellation spokesman told just-drinks that the reports were "absolutely untrue".

"Our beer business is really limited to importing beers into the US," the spokesman said, adding that Constellation had "no plans" to expand into beer markets elsewhere around the world.

The reports also claimed that Coopers had held separate discussions with UK drinks giant Diageo on a similar venture.

A Diageo spokesperson refused to comment on what she termed "industry speculation".

Foster's brews Diageo's Guinness and Kilkenny Ale brands under licence for the Australian market.