Anheuser-Busch has refused to be drawn on claims that it is the latest brewer to consider scuppering Carlsberg and Heineken's move for Scottish & Newcastle.

A report in yesterday's (24 February) Sunday Times claimed that the US-based brewer has been studying financial data on S&N, as it seeks opportunities to expand outside its domestic market. The report did not cite any sources for the claim.

When contacted by just-drinks today, Randolph Baker, vice president and CFO at A-B, said: "It is our policy to not confirm, deny or speculate on rumours of potential investments, acquisitions, mergers, new business partnerships or other transactions."

Last week, SABMiller was moved to issue a statement saying that it has not lined up a counterbid for S&N, after sources claim the UK brewer was poised to swoop.

Carlsberg and Heineken are hoping to close their purchase of S&N, for GBP8.00 per share, by the end of April.