Both Interbrew and Carlsberg-Tetley have played down reports that the two beer giants are looking to establish a joint distribution venture in the UK. However both admitted yesterday they were reviewing their distribution arrangements.

"It is indeed true that we are conducting a strategic review of our distribution apparatus in the United Kingdom," Interbrew spokesman Corneel Maes said in a Reuters report.

However he would not comment on the reports this included discussions with Carlsberg over a joint venture, calling the story "speculative".

Carlsberg-Tetley meanwhile also said it was reviewing its beer distribution set-up but said it did not expect any imminent deal.

"We have been approached by a number of potential partners on distribution in the UK, and we are reviewing the situation," a spokeswoman for the UK brewer told Reuters.

She went on to say that the brewer was to announce a new strategy for its core brands in two weeks, however this would not involve new distribution arrangements or a merger with Interbrew, which would definitely attract regulatory concerns.