Reports suggest that the Belgian-based brewing conglomerate, Interbrew, is poised to make a bid for a 40% stake in the Italian brewer, Peroni. Sources reportedly close to the negotiations have said Interbrew should be in a position to complete the deal by the end of February.

No financial details were given though the source revealed that other bidders were also in the frame, with Carlsberg and S&N both thought to be interested parties. Interbrew made no comment on the speculation.

Talk of some form of link-up between Interbrew and Peroni has no doubt been heightened by Interbrew's announcement last week that it is to terminate its current licensing and distribution agreement for the Italian market with Heineken Italia which has been in place since 1995.