Scottish & Newcastle has demanded that Carlsberg agree to the publication of confidential data on their joint brewing venture "as a condition of recommendation".

The two brewers announced earlier today (17 January) that they have agreed to open discussions - along with Carlsberg's co-bidder Heineken - with a view to the European brewers making a recommended offer to buy the UK company.

S&N had previously rejected three proposed bids from Carlsberg and Heineken and refused to even begin discussions on the matter. In turning down the last of the three bids last week of GBP7.80 per share, S&N said it would only be open to negotiations should GBP8.00 be offered, a move the European brewers made today.

A spokesperson for S&N confirmed that discussions have now opened in London between lawyers for the two sides. The spokesperson reiterated that GBP8.00 per share was "a starting point, not a finish" for the UK brewer. "GBP8.00 gets you through the door", the spokesperson said.

"Earlier this week, we listed the data on Baltic Beverages Holding that we want Carlsberg to agree to the publication of. That move is a condition of recommendation from our board," the spokesperson added.

S&N wants the Danish brewer to okay the publication of beer market volume growth for Russia and total BBH average selling prices, sales, EBITDA, EBIT and capital expenditure for the next three years.

The UK Takeover Panel, which last month set a deadline of 21 January for a formal offer, has agreed to requests from the brewers for an extension of this deadline to 24 January.