The pair, which own between them own some high profile whisky brands such as Four Roses and Yamazaki, are aiming to proof themselves against a shrinking and saturated market coupled with an aged population.
It is believed that the duo also want to compete more strongly with large international brands.
Both companies are keeping the merger discussions close to their chests with any merger creating the world's fifth largest food company by sales, just behind Kraft Foods Inc and Pepsico Inc.
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