ref="http://www.cityam.com/company/diageo">DIAGEO, the world's biggest drinks company, has expressed interest in buying Turkish spirits company Mey Icki for up to $2.5bn (£1.6bn), Reuters sources have said.
Diageo is in preliminary talks to buy Mey Icki, Turkey's leading spirits producer, offering owner TPG an alternative to an initial public offering (IPO).
The early-stage discussions could be the first step in a dual-track process, considering both a sale or a market listing.
"The talks are early stage, and it is unclear whether they will lead to anything," the person told Reuters.
TPG Capital, the owner of Mey Icki, has been exploring an IPO of stock in the company.
It has mandated JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to run the IPO, a source close to the deal previously told Reuters.
The private equity firm bought Mey Icki, the dominant producer of Turkey's national drink, raki, for about $800m in 2006.
Diageo, maker of Johnnie Walker Whisky, Tanqueray gin and Smirnoff vodka, could not be reached for comment.
TPG declined to comment.