Lion Nathan has received further assurances that it is not about to be taken over. The Australian wine maker and brewer has been given word by Kirin Corp., which owns a 46% stake in the firm, that it is not in secret talks with San Miguel Corp. to exit the group.

Lion Nathan issued a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) yesterday (25 August), saying that it knew nothing about rumours that San Miguel was to launch a bid.

Speaking to the ASX, Lion Nathan's company secretary, Duncan Makeig, said: "The recent trading activity in the company's shares is a result of market speculation that San Miguel Corp. is intending to make a takeover offer for the company."

Makeig added, however, that Lion "knows of no such offer, it has not been approached and it has not engaged in any discussions consistent with this speculation, therefore the company can make no further comment on it."

As well as owning a large stake in Lion Nathan since 1998, Kirin also controls 20% of Philippine-based San Miguel.