Following the news yesterday that the Czech government may be willing to sell the brewer Budejovicky Budvar, the country's press has reported that Scottish & Newcastle, Heineken, Interbrew and Anheuser-Busch are all interested in the purchase.

The reports claim that Budejovicky Budvar will be transformed into a joint-stock company in 2004. The company's book value is calculated at 3.5 billion Czech crowns (US$128m) and the value of its trademark at around 10 billion crowns, the reports said.

just-drinks reported yesterday that the state-owned brewer Budvar may be caught up in a new wave of privatisation in the Czech Republic.

The Czech Finance Minister is apparently pushing for further privatization to raise badly needed funds for the state budget, the Mlada Fronta Dnes newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Among the plans being studied is a proposal to sell Budvar, the report said.

The Czech brewer and its US rival Anheuser-Busch are currently waging a long legal battle over the rights for the Budweiser and Bud trade names in different countries.