Battle for Absolut hots up

Pernod Ricard, the world's second largest wine and spirits group, has said it is interested in the Absolut vodka brand. Last week, Sweden's government asked parliament to back the sale of Absolut's owner, Vin&Sprit.

Absolut is one of the world's top three vodka brands.

Bacardi, Diageo, Fortune Brands and Pernod Ricard have all been cited as potential bidders for V&S, valued at up to $US 6 BLN.

Pernod is also in talks with Russian authorities to extend its license terms for the Stolichnaya brand outside Russia.