Pernod Ricard has confirmed that its managing director has visited Sweden to look at Vin & Sprit's Absolut vodka brand, ahead of a possible sell-off.

Speaking to just-drinks today (21 May), a spokesperson for Pernod said Pierre Pringuet visited the country in mid-April. Pringuet visited "wheat farmers, local newspapers and local syndicates" in and around the Swedish town of Åhus where Absolut is produced.

"The idea (behind the trip) was to go and visit the area before the official (sale) process is open," the spokesperson said. "We have written to the Swedish government to tell them we are interested (in Absolut), as have other companies."

During the visit, Pringuet assured local press that Absolut production would not be moved from Åhus if Pernod were to acquire the brand.

The Swedish parliament is set to vote on the Government's proposal to privatise Absolut's owner, Vin & Sprit, either in June or after the summer recess in September.