Carlsberg and Heineken have received European Commission approval for their purchase of Scottish & Newcastle, although Heineken has been left to sweat on the Republic of Ireland.

The two Europe-based brewers confirmed earlier today (3 April) that the EC has approved the acquisition of selected S&N assets by Heineken in all EU member states with the exception of The Republic of Ireland. The acquisition by Heineken of S&N's Irish subsidiary, Beamish & Crawford, will be referred to the Irish Competition Authority (ICA) for consideration.

Today's announcement follows approval from the EC in respect of the acquisition of selected S&N assets by Carlsberg, the expiry of the applicable antitrust waiting period in the US, and receipt of approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities in Russia and Ukraine.

"The (Carlsberg and Heineken) consortium confirms that the antitrust conditions to the acquisition of S&N … have now been satisfied and that the referral to the ICA will not delay completion of the acquisition," the two companies said.

The consortium subsequently expects that the purchase will complete on 28 April.

Heineken said that it has fully briefed the ICA on the terms of the acquisition. "(Heineken) expects that the ICA will reach a quick and satisfactory outcome regarding its examination of Heineken's proposed acquisition of Beamish & Crawford," the Dutch brewer said.