Royal Unibrew has declined to comment on reports that it may be put up for sale at some point in the future.

A report in Esmerk Daily News late last week cited sources close to the Danish brewer as saying that Unibrew is in line to be taken over by "a major international rival" within the next three to five years. Company chairman, Steen Weirsøe, does not rule out the possibility that the brewer's days as independent company could be numbered, the report claimed.

When contacted by just-drinks today (3 April), however, a spokesperson for Unibrew declined to comment on the matter. "It is not our policy to comment on press speculation of this kind," the spokesperson said.

In January, Unibrew unveiled 'Double Up', a strategy designed to double earnings from operations to DKK500m (US$104.4m) by 2010. The programme allowed for possible acquisitions in Northern Europe, Italy and in the international markets for malt beverages. "Focus will be on acquisitions of profitable enterprises which can be integrated naturally in the existing business," the company said at the time.

'Double Up' replaced the previous programme, known as 'Mach II', which ran from 2005 to 2007.