Heineken has refused to comment on reports that it has signalled its interest in buying sought-after Indian brewer Mohan Meakin.

Reports in India today (10 January) claimed that Asia Pacific Breweries, Heineken's partner in Asia, had put in a bid for Mohan Meakin, which controls 8% of India's beer market.

However, a Heineken spokesperson refused to comment on APB's mooted interest in the brewer, although she confirmed that APB was looking to expand in India.

"Koh Poh Tiong (APB's chief executive) expressed his interest in India last year and that interest remains," she told just-drinks.

SABMiller, the second-largest brewer in India, has already indicated its readiness to make an offer for Mohan Meakin and is considered the front-runner in the race for the brewer. SABMiller already has a bottling agreement with Mohan Breweries, which is run by a close associate of the family that owns Mohan Meakin. The brewing giant is keen to set up a direct brewing presence in the state of Tamil Nadu, one of the three largest in India in terms of beer consumption.

Just-drinks understands that InBev has also signalled its interest in Mohan Meakin but officials for the Belgian brewing giant refused to comment when contacted today.