Seagram Reportedly Zeroing In On Buyer For Spirits Business - TheStreet

Johnnie Walker might just join Scotch whisky rival Chivas Regal if the Anglo-French team of

Diageo

and

Pernod-Ricard

win their bid for

Seagram's

(VO) - Get Report

spirits business.

Reports say a deal could close this week. French water and communications provider

Vivendi

(V) - Get Report

, which recently

acquired Canada's Seagram for $24 billion, put Seagram's wine and spirits business on the auction block in September. Auction organizer

Morgan Stanley

hopes to complete the deal before Christmas.

According to published reports, the team of Diageo and Pernod-Ricard, of Johnnie Walker fame, is the favorite to win the auction for Seagram's spirits empire, which industry sources say could fetch up to $8 billion. Other bidders include Great Britain's

Allied Domecq

,

Brown-Forman

(BFA)

, owner of Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey, and Bermuda's

Bacardi

.

Industry sources say the number of bidders will be slimmed down to two by Wednesday, and a winner could be decided by the end of the week.

Shares of Seagram were lately unchanged at $50.50, while shares of Vivendi gained $2.50, or 3.85%, to $67.50 in trading on the Big Board.