Johnnie Walker might just join Scotch whisky rival Chivas Regal if the Anglo-French team of
win their bid for
Reports say a deal could close this week. French water and communications provider
, which recently
acquired Canada's Seagram for $24 billion, put Seagram's wine and spirits business on the auction block in September. Auction organizer
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
, owner of Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey, and Bermuda's
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.