Steps are being taken by Bass, Allied Domecq and Whitbread to sell soft drinks giant Britvic.
The company, which supplies Tango, Robinson's and Pepsi, is expected to be sold to PepsiCo, which already owns a 10 per cent stake.
According to the latest press reports, investment bank Schroder Salomon Smith Barney is believed to have been appointed to auction the business.
The remaining 90 per cent of Britvic is owned by a joint venture called Britannia Soft Drinks. Bass owns 50 per cent of this company, while Whitbread and Allied own 25 per cent each.
None of Britvic's partners was commenting as this article was posted on thePublican.com. After the sale of their brewing arms to Interbrew, Bass and Whitbread now see soft drinks as non-core to their retailing business.
Allied tried to sell its stake as part of the disposal of its retail arm to Punch Group last year, but it was blocked by Whitbread.
With an estimated price tag of £350m, other possible bidders could be AG Barr, the maker of Tizer and Irn-Bru, or a management buy-out team.