SABMiller has refused to be drawn on reports that it may be taking advice from banks over a possible bid for Scottish & Newcastle.

Speaking to just-drinks today (9 November), SABMiller declined to comment on reports in the UK newspaper The Times that it is considering its options with banks, such as Morgan Stanley and Dresdner, before entering into a bid battle for the UK-based brewer.

S&N recently rejected a takeover offer from Carlsberg and Heineken at 720 pence per share. The offer values S&N in the region of GBP6.8bn (US$13.8bn).

The press reports over SABMiller's interests in the S&N sale coincide with S&N initiating legal proceedings against Carlsberg over its alleged breach of a shareholders' agreement regarding the two companies' 50/50 joint venture Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH).

S&N believes Carlsberg's joint bid for S&N with Heineken represents an effective breach of the confidential shareholder agreement, which would allow S&N to launch a counter-bid for Carlsberg's share in the fast-growing Russian beer company.