Scottish & Newcastle, the last major UK brewer, has started possible takeover talks with rivals Carlsberg A/S and Heineken NV. The brewer has been fighting off approaches from the consortium since last October.
It has raised their offer to 800p-per-share, valuing the company at £7.8bn. S&N and Carlsberg and Heineken have confirmed that they have entered into discussions.
A statement adds: “The consortium’s bid is subject to certain pre-conditions, including satisfactory completion of limited due diligence.”
S&N, which owns a portfolio of brands including Kronenberg 1664, John Smith’s and Strongbow, rejected a 780p-per-share offer last week but said it would consider an 800p-per-share offer. This was an increase on its original offer of 720p-per-share.
The statement adds that the consortium has until January 24 but there is no guarantee a formal offer will be made.
S&N is involved in an ongoing row with Carlsberg over their Russian joint venture Baltic Beverages. It claims that Carlsberg breached its Shareholder’s Agreement, which Carlsberg denies.