Pernod-Ricard's £7.4 billion ($13.49bn, €10.97bn) agreed takeover of Allied Domecq, the globe's second largest spirits and wines pedlar [WAMN: 26-Apr-05], has run into a bureaucratic blockage.

European Commission officials decided Wednesday they need more time to weigh the deal's competition implications and their verdict, due tomorrow (Friday), has been postponed for a further two weeks.

The delay centres around Pernod's plan to hive off to third parties some of Allied's brands, among them Courvoisier cognac, Tia Maria and Malibu.

The delay could be welcome news to US-headquartered Constellation Brands, currently a junior partner in Pernod's bid - but also believed to be forming an alliance with compatriot booze marketer Brown-Forman with a view to launching a $7.8bn counterbid [WAMN: 29-Apr-05].

Any offer from the US duo must meet a June 29 deadline.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff