SABMiller has been moved to issue a statement following speculation that it may tender a counterbid for Scottish & Newcastle.

A report on the Financial Times' website yesterday (20 February) cited unnamed sources as claiming that the UK-based brewer was lining up an GBP8.50 per share bid for S&N. This would have trumped the recommended offer currently in place from Carlsberg and Heineken of GBP8.00 per share.

In a statement, released late yesterday, SABMiller said that it did take a closer look at the company in the last few weeks.

"Consistent with its normal practice of evaluating all strategic opportunities, SABMiller confirms that, following the recent release of additional information on the underlying S&N business, it undertook a preliminary evaluation of the group," SABMiller said.

The brewer concluded by saying that it "decided not to take further action with regard to S&N".

The speculation drove S&N's share price above the offer price from Carlsberg and Heineken in later trading yesterday.