Brown-Forman ( BFB), the U.S. maker of Jack Daniel's and Southern Comfort, has hired an investment banker to consider a possible merger with Bacardi, a published report says.

Brown-Forman has hired Lazard an adviser to evaluate options range from selling off individual brands to a merger with Bacardi, the U.K's Sunday Telegraph reports.

Brown-Forman, like Bacardi, is family-controlled, the report notes. The two companies long have been considered ideal partners but the family owners were believed to be opposed to any deal.

The two companies declined to comment for the Sunday Telegraph.

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