UK: Scottish & Newcastle dons glad rags to deter Carlsberg talk - report
The possible takeover of Scottish & Newcastle by Carlsberg hit the UK headlines again last weekend, with speculation suggesting the UK brewer will highlight its positive features to investors.
A report in yesterday's (9 September) Mail on Sunday claimed that S&N is preparing to emphasise its growth potential in markets such as China and India, as a way of deterring investors from being swayed by any possible bid from Carlsberg.
The paper cited S&N chairman Sir Brian Stewart as saying: "We have catapulted S&N from number six in the UK to number six in the world. We work very well with Carlsberg, as we do with all our other national partners. Our primary objective has to be shareholder value and we have made sure the company has a lot of options."
When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for S&N declined to add further to the reported comments, only to say that the brewer was "very, very happy with its partnership (with Carlsberg) in Baltic Beverages Holding, and the other local partners we have in the business". The two brewers jointly operate the Eastern European unit, which last week inaugurated a new brewery in Uzbekistan.
S&N has been the subject of persistent speculation this year that it might be ripe for a takeover bid by Carlsberg. Speaking to just-drinks last week, Carlsberg's new CEO, Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen, said he "can't say definitely yes or no to anything" when asked about the likelihood of a bid for S&N.
"We have already spent too much time making remarks about Scottish & Newcastle. All I would say is that we are very happy with our working relationship with S&N (in BBH)," he said.
S&N currently has a market value in the region of GBP5.5bn (US$11.16bn). Earlier this year, Carlsberg changed its charter, thereby freeing up around $12.76bn for potential acquisitions going forward.
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