Carlsberg and Heineken have confirmed that they are in early discussions to look to acquire Scottish & Newcastle.

The two global brewers made the announcement earlier today (17 October) in response to what they described as "the recent share price movement of Scottish & Newcastle".

"Carlsberg and Heineken are in discussions regarding the formation of a consortium to make an offer for the entire issued share capital of Scottish & Newcastle," the companies said. Were the two to make an offer, then this would be in cash.

"It is currently intended that Carlsberg will ultimately acquire Scottish & Newcastle's interest in (S&N's joint venture with Carlsberg) Baltic Beverages Holding, France and Greece and that Heineken will ultimately assume control of Scottish & Newcastle's business in the UK and other European markets."

The brewers noted, however, that no formal approach has yet been made to S&N. "There can be no certainty that an offer for Scottish & Newcastle will ultimately be forthcoming," Carlsberg and Heineken concluded.

A further announcement is expected "in due course".

When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for Carlsberg declined to comment further. "Due to the codes of the takeover panel in the UK, we are not allowed to add anything further to this announcement," the spokesperson said.

No-one was immediately available at Heineken or S&N this morning.