Diageo has been given the all-clear to make a bid for New Zealand's Independent Liquor.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has okayed a bid from Diageo for the RTD spirits company, should it wish to. The UK-based drinks giant applied for clearance to bid for Independent on 24 October, and received the green light earlier this week.

A spokesperson for Diageo confirmed the decision to just-drinks today (29 November). The spokesperson declined to say what the next move will be for Diageo: "We will be looking at our options before we decide what to do," she said.

Local reports have claimed that a deadline of 6 December has been set for a sale to be completed. Although Diageo could not confirm this deadline, the spokesperson said: "There will be a decision from Diageo pretty quickly."

Lion Nathan has also won clearance from competition authorities on both sides of the Tasman to bid for Independent, as has Singapore-based Asia Pacific Breweries through its New Zealand subsidiary DB Breweries.

Foster's Group has also been mentioned as a possible bidder, although just-drinks understands that the company would only consider buying Independent if it was available at a "knock-out price".

Rumoured interest from Coca-Cola Amatil and two private equity groups has so far failed to lead to formal applications to conduct due diligence on Independent.

Analysts have valued Independent, which was put up for sale last year following the death of founder Michael Erceg, at around A$1.1bn (US$829m). The company has strong positions in the RTD markets in both Australia and New Zealand. It produces brands including Mudshake, Vodka Cruiser and FX.