Vin & Spirit, the company behind Absolut Vodka and owned by the Swedish government, is to be sold at auction.

Analysts expect the company to be sold for between $6bn-$7bn (£3bn-£4bn), with Pernod Ricard, Diageo and Fortune Brands touted as interested parties.

However, Fortune Brands could have an unfair advantage because it already has distribution rights for Absolut in the US, according to reports in the Daily Telegraph.