Pernod Ricard, the French drinks company is expected to launch, its £7.4bn bid for Allied Domecq this week.

The approach for the maker of Malibu and Beefeater gin is set to bee announced on Thursday when Allied Domecq announce its half-year results.

Should the deal go through it will be one of the biggest ever seen in the drinks industry and will comprise of a tie-up between Pernod Ricard and US-based Fortune Brands.

No other companies have formally expressed an interest, however Bacardi and Diageo are believed to be interested in some of Allied’s brands.

US-based Constellation is also thought to be keen on some or all of Allied Domecq’s business.