A South Korean industrial and financial group is thought to be close to acquiring the troubled spirits producer Jinro, according to reports in the country's press.

According to the reports, an industrial group will buy the company and then sell off the Japanese subsidiary, Jinro Japan, to the Japanese Asahi Breweries. Asahi will also provide technical and marketing support.

South Korea's leading producer of the traditional Korean spirit Soju was placed under court receivership, in May. The decision was taken after a Jinro creditor, the bank Goldman Sachs, filed a petition with the court in April.

Despite continuing to grow its share of the soju market, Jinro has been hampered by mounting debts.