This rekindled speculation in the City that the company is now ripe for a takeover. Some suggested an alliance with Seagram of Canada or Brown Foreman of the US is likely. Others believe that Pernod-Ricard and Bacardi- Martini may also be interested. Some put a value of between pounds 4.5bn and pounds 5bn on Allied Domecq.
Allied has held talks with international drinks companies before, and was close to a deal with Seagram of Canada last year.