The battle for the Seagram drinks business will enter its final phase on Monday when bids have to be in. There are three players in the frame but none looks a clear winner. The Diageo/Pernod Ricard combination has created a joint venture company to make its bid. It has the greatest fire power and acquisition of some of Seagram's worldwide distribution and brands such as Chivas Regal and Martell would reinforce Diageo's position as the world's leading spirits company. Its Percy Fox wine division would be boosted by Seagram's agency wine brands including Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes. Allied Domecq has the most to gain from the world wide distribution Seagram would bring with it. But it has already made a preemptive strike by signing a deal with Captain Morgan's producer Distileria Serralles. And it has acquired the US distribution rights to the Russian vodka Stolichnaya. This fills two key gaps in its portfolio. The Bacardi/Brown Forman team has strengthened its bid by recruiting Absolut vodka owner Vin and Sprit. Seagram was rumoured to be looking for £7.5bn for the wines and spirits portfolio. But most analysts predict a price tag of around £5bn. One analyst called the whole thing a "complex and messy deal which has been badly managed". The drinks business was put up for sale when Seagram decided to merge its global entertainment business with Vivendi. This week shareholders of both companies gave the go-ahead for the merger. {{NEWS }}