Fosters may be planning a bid for Australia’s largest wine group, Southcorp, after it unexpectedly brought 19% of the company this week.

The full purchase would create one of the world’s biggest wine groups, combining the Beringer Blass division of Fosters - which it bought four year ago - with Southcorp’s brands such as Penfolds, Lindemans and Rosemount.

Fosters bought the stake from Bob Oatley, the company’s deputy chairman, for A$584m (£237m), which valued Southcorps at A$3.11bn.