Carlsberg and Heineken have played down reports claiming that their latest offer for Scottish & Newcastle will be their final bid.

Last month, the two European brewers upped their proposed bid for S&N to GBP7.50 per share, only for S&N to dismiss the offer on the same day.

Reports yesterday (10 December) cited Carlsberg's CEO, Joergen Buhl Rasmussen, as saying that the two brewers had no plans to raise its bid.

But Carlsberg and Heineken followed the reports with a statement, saying that such a possibility has not been ruled out completely.

"Whilst it (the Carlsberg and Heineken consortium) has no plans to raise its proposal above GBP7.50, it wishes to re-confirm that it reserves the right to increase its proposal should it so decide," the companies said. Carlsberg and Heineken said they felt their latest bid "delivers full and fair value and is at a level substantially in excess of the standalone independent value of S&N".

In other reports this week, Buhl Rasmussen was cited as saying S&N had been too "emotional" in its handling of Carlsberg and Heineken's overtures. "We are trying to put forward a proposal to S&N and we have chosen not to be extremely emotional about what we say," Rasmussen was cited as saying in a report in Scottish newspaper Evening News. "They seem to have chosen that route. I think it's less professional. This should be about business.

"I don't fully understand what they're trying to achieve. Sometimes, I hope and believe that it's about value and creating value, but sometimes I sense it's about trying to stay independent at any price."

The European brewers remain hopeful that S&N will meet them at the negotiation table, a move S&N has so far ruled out.