Cains brewery has entered fresh negotiations with its bankers, after financial difficulties forced the brewer to suspend stock market trading earlier this week.

A spokesperson for Liverpool-based Cains told just-drinks today (5 August): "Negotiations are taking place at the moment [with Royal Bank of Scotland] and we hope to have some news in the next few days."

Cains voluntarily suspended trading on the AIM stock exchange yesterday, prompting concerns the craft brewer may not be able to survive. It has been in talks with its bankers since April over debts totalling around GBP35m (US$68.4m).

"The directors believed that the company would be able to reach agreement with its bankers regarding appropriate levels of funding, but noted that there was a material uncertainty as the group's ability to continue as a going concern," the company said yesterday.

Cains said on 28 July that pre-tax losses had deepened to GBP4.6m for the six months ended 27 April, compared to a loss of GBP691,000 for the same period in 2007. Revenue doubled to GBP25.4m, however.

The Unite trade union leapt to Cains' defence this week, calling on the Bank of Scotland not to "turn its back" on the brewer's 1,000 workers. "This is a viable company and just needs some help to get through this difficult trading period," said Franny Joyce, Unite regional official.