Heineken has refused to comment on reports claiming that its bid to buy Foster's Group's Asian brewing assets has been derailed.

The Dutch brewing giant, alongside its Asian partner, Singapore-based Asia Pacific Breweries was understood to be the front-runner in the race for Foster's operations in India, China and Vietnam. However, a report in the Financial Times today (9 May) suggested that talks to buy Foster's brewery in the Indian state of Maharashtra had broken down.

A spokesperson for Heineken in Amsterdam refused to be drawn on the reports. "We won't comment on that at all," she told just-drinks. However, she added: "We are still looking for acquisitions in Asia with APB."

Last month, APB, in which Heineken owns a 42.5% stake, emerged as the most likely potential suitor to secure Foster's operations in Asia. Foster's put the assets on the block after deciding its returns from those businesses were no longer enough for it to compete successfully with rival global brewers in the emerging markets of India, China and Vietnam.

SABMiller is believed to still be interested in striking a deal with Foster's but APB had looked ready to table a higher bid for the brewing assets.

Scottish & Newcastle looked to have ruled itself out of the running last month when it said it wanted to focus on its newly-won rights to the Foster's brand in Europe.