Pernod Ricard’s sale of Allied Domecq’s QSR division looks likely to be resolved earlier than expected. Speculation suggests that the first round of offers is likely to be towards the end of September or early October. Private equity group Hicks, Muse, Tate, & Furst is thought to be leading the running, with fellow private equity companies Bain Capital, Thomas H. Lee Partners and The Carlyle Group also mooted. Yum! Brands has also been linked to the sale. Investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein said: "If a disposal occurs earlier than expected, this would clearly be good news for Pernod, although the earnings dilution from the sale would be brought forward."