Jamaican rum producer Wray & Nephew will not be put up for sale, despite financial troubles currently affecting its owner, CL Financial, according to local reports.

Late last week, The Caribbean Business Report cited a senior executive at Trinidad-based CL Financial as saying that the company would not need to sell Wray & Nephew's parent company, Lascelles, de Mercado and Co.

The announcement follows a move by the Trinidadian government and central bank last month to take over the assets of CL Financial, which has suffered due to the economic downturn.

"At Lascelles it is business as usual and, despite all the rumours, it will not be sold to any foreign entity," CL Financial executive director Michael Carballo told the paper last week.

"We want to reassure stakeholders and employees that Appleton is important to us and is a very important piece of our portfolio. We fully intend on growing that business."

When contacted by just-drinks today (9 February), a spokesperson for Wray & Nephew, which also owns the Appleton Estate rum brand, confirmed the comments, but declined to comment further.

The newspaper also cited "reliable sources" as saying that Diageo is considering lining up a bid for Wray & Nephew. No-one at Diageo was immediately available for comment when contacted by just-drinks.

CL Financial, which also has interests in construction, real estate and financial services, acquired Lascelles, de Mercado and Co. last year through its Angostura division for around US$700m.