Belgian brewing conglomerate, Interbrew, has announced that it has gained regulatory approval to launch an offer to buy up the shares in the Slovenian brewer, Pivovarna Union, which it does not already own.

Interbrew currently owns 40.92% of the voting shares in Pivovarna and, following the green light from the Slovenian market regulators, will now bid for the remaining shares. The offer begins on July 23 and will last for 28 days.

Last week, rival Slovenian brewer, Lasko, launched a takeover bid for Union though Lasko has already failed in an earlier attempt to outbid Interbrew for Union following the intervention of Slovenian regulatory authorities.

Interbrew said last week that it expected the country's anti-monopoly regulators to step in to block any Lasko takeover. Lasko has around 50% of the market, while Union has a 40% share. Analysts have predicted that a bidding war could develop between the two companies.