Diageo has refused to comment on press speculation linking the drinks giant with Radico Khaitan in India.

In a report today, the country's Economic Times has claimed that the Indian company is set to float an equal joint venture with Diageo for a block of Asian markets, including India. The paper cited informed sources as claiming that Radico Khaitan, through its overseas subsidiary Radico Global, is in advanced talks with Diageo to tap opportunities in the Asian markets. This would mark Diageo's first major move in India, the paper noted, after selling its Indian Made Foreign Liquor Assets in 2002.

Sources told the paper that Diageo is looking to push brands like Smirnoff, and Scotch whiskies VAT 69 and Black & White in the country.

"This is market speculation," a spokesperson for Diageo told just-drinks today. "We will not be commenting on the report.

"India is part of the important BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) markets for us, so there will often be speculation linking us with small local companies in these markets," the spokesperson added.

Radico Khaitan runs United Spirits a distant second in the Indian spirits market, selling 12.5m cases a year compares to UB's 60m.

In November last year, Radico Khaitan said it was on the hunt for international brands, having hired Rabo Bank to scout for acquisition targets.