Constellation will up its efforts to get Diageo to join its counterbid for Allied Domecq, according to weekend reports. The US-based drinks company is leading a consortium including Brown-Forman and private-equity firms Lion Capital and Blackstone to trump Pernod Ricard's takeover bid for Allied.

Without citing sources, the Sunday Times said yesterday (22 May) that Constellation is hoping to get Diageo onside amid concern that it will struggle to raise sufficient funding in the capital markets for a credible bid.

The paper said that Constellation is believed to have decided against offering investors "stub equity" and needs firepower beyond that being supplied by its consortium team-mates.

Diageo, which would be very interested in Allied's Maker's Mark Bourbon, is presently mulling over whether to join the consortium, await the fallout from Pernod's takeover bid, or form a separate bidding vehicle with another international drinks company, the paper noted.