The globe's second largest purveyor of wines and liquor, Allied Domecq, is set to become the £7.6bn ($13.84bn; €11.45bn) booty of world booze behemoth number three Pernod-Ricard of France.

UK-headquartered Allied, having originally accepted Pernod's offer, was ardently courted by a second suitor, Constellation Brands of the USA.

But for reasons best known to itself, the US company decided Thursday to quit the fray, saying only that it had decided the acquisition "wouldn't add value for shareholders".

"We looked at the company very closely, and we just couldn't make the numbers work,'' said Constellation spokesman Mike Martin. His lips were zipped as to how many dollars the company had planned to put on the table.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff