Anheuser-Busch has stayed silent on reports that it plans to bid for a minority stake in the Scottish & Newcastle and Carlsberg joint venture Baltic Beverages Holdings (BBH).

Speaking to just-drinks today (15 January), a spokesperson for A-B said: "We have received a good few enquiries, but we cannot comment on rumour or speculation".

Newspaper reports over the weekend suggested that S&N is in negotiations with the US brewer, as well as private equity funds Blackstone and Texas Pacific group to help fund the purchase of Carlsberg's 50% stake in BBH.

Yesterday, a spokesperson for S&N said: "We identified in our presentation (regarding BBH) last week that we were expecting to find high quality interest (in making a joint move for BBH). There has been substantial interest," the spokesperson said, declining to comment more specifically on the matter.

In detailing its claims for BBH last week, S&N said: "(We) envisage introducing a new investor(s) to take a minority position in BBH of up to 25%."

A-B CFO W. Randolph Baker added in a statement: "It is our policy to not confirm, deny or speculate on rumours of potential investments, acquisitions, mergers, new business partnerships or other transactions."

S&N believes that Carlsberg's discussions with Heineken over acquiring the UK brewer have triggered the so-called 'shotgun clause' in their joint venture, a claim Carlsberg has dismissed.

The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce is set to rule on the row in July. The institute's decision on the matter will be final and binding.

Depending on which side of the argument one listens to, BBH is valued at between GBP4.1bn (US$8.03bn) and GBP4.6bn.