Constellation has cancelled a planned appearance at an investor conference next week. The move has fuelled rumours that the company is to announce a counter-bid for Allied Domecq shortly.

The US-based wine and spirits company was scheduled to make a presentation at a Deutsche Bank retail and consumer conference on Tuesday (7 June).

In a research note yesterday, Deutsche Bank analyst Marc Greenberg said: "In light of the company's 'no comment' policy regarding its potential interest in Allied Domecq, Constellation Brand is unable to present next week."

A Constellation spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Last month, Constellation confirmed that, as part of a consortium, it was conducting due diligence on Allied Domecq. The UK Panel on Takeovers and Mergers has given the consortium until 29 June to make a firm offer or to back down altogether.