Carlsberg and Heineken have announced that they have joined forces to make a multi-billion pound offer for UK brewer Scottish & Newcastle, which owns brands including, Newcastle Brown Ale and Kronenbourg.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Carlsberg said: “Carlsberg and Heineken confirm that they are in discussions regarding the formation of a consortium to make an offer for the entire issued share capital of Scottish & Newcastle. An offer, if made, is likely to be in cash.”
The Danish company added warned that any deal would take time to formulate saying: “To date no formal approach has been made to Scottish & Newcastle and there can be no certainty that an offer for Scottish & Newcastle will ultimately be forthcoming.”
If a bid were to take place, Dutch brewer Heineken would manage S&N brands in the UK, with Carlsberg overseeing European operations.
Shares rose following the news and saw the company valued £7.3bn.
John Dunsmore recently replaced Tony Froggatt as S&N chief executive; Froggatthad been expected to oversee any buy-out. The news casts doubt on the security of both Dunsmore and S&N marketing chief Sarah Warby, who was appointed UK marketing director in July, and her team.