Conflicting reports from Poland today suggest the race for Polmos Bialystok is not yet over. While the Polish News Bulletin claimed today that the Treasury Ministry has made a decision, one of the three front-runners for the vodka distiller claims negotiations between the ministry and Sobieski Dystrybucja have broken down.

Sobieski Dystrybucja, which is owned by France's Belevedere Group, had been given until midnight on Wednesday (8 June) to convince the Treasury of its offer for the 61%-stake in Bialystok.

According to Dow Jones, the treasury ministry initialled a draft sales agreement with Sobieski Dystrybucja late on Wednesday, but the deal was non-binding, the ministry said, and final approval rested with Treasury Minister Jacek Socha.

Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC), who had also bid for the stake, said today, however, that the Treasury Ministry has failed to conclude final negotiations with Sobieski for the purchase.

"Officially, all three candidates, CEDC, Polmos Lublin and Sobieski Distribution are eligible to further negotiate with the Treasury as Sobieski's exclusivity period expired as of 8 June," CEDC said. "The Treasury should decide the next steps in the privatisation process of Polmos Bialystok in the next few days."