Slovenia's leading brewing group, Pivovarna Lasko, has been linked with a takeover bid for rival brewer, Pivovarna Union, in which Belgian brewer Interbrew has a shareholding. Shares in Lasko rose 7% amid the speculation while shares in Pivovarna rose by 2.9%. Since the beginning of 2002 shares in Lasko have risen by 24%.

Lasko already owns a 24.23% stake in Pivovarna and proposed a merger between the two companies last year with the aim of enhancing the export potential for both brands to other countries of former Yugoslavia. However, Pivovarna rejected Lasko's offer in favour of signing with Belgian brewing giant Interbrew, which currently owns a 41% stake in the company.