30/01/2017 03:33 GMT | Updated 31/01/2018 05:12 GMT

Baileys To End Sponsorship Of Women's Prize For Fiction

Baileys is to stop its sponsorship of the prestigious Women's Prize for Fiction.

The drinks company said it has "regretfully" decided to part ways with the award, which announced it is looking for a new sponsor for 2018.

Syl Saller, chief marketing officer at Baileys' owner Diageo, said the company is "very proud" to have sponsored the prize for four years but June's award will be the last.

"It has been an honour to champion the very best international fiction written by women and to help connect that work with the large readership it deserves," she said.

"However, Baileys now needs to increase its investment behind global activities that work across both English and non-English speaking markets. Regretfully, therefore, we have decided to make way for a new sponsor.

"We look forward to making 2017 an exceptional year. Baileys will remain a staunch advocate for the prize and I am delighted to be continuing our support by joining the board."

Kate Mosse, novelist and the prize's co-founder, thanked the company for supporting the prize, which was won last year by Lisa McInerney.

She said: "We are enormously grateful to Baileys for all it has done to support the prize over the past four years.

"While we look forward to making 2017 a fabulous final year for Baileys, we are also excited about the possibility of building a partnership with a different sponsor for 2018 and beyond."