Fresh rumours surrounding a possible bid for Scottish & Newcastle saw the brewer's share price rise sharply yesterday (18 May) morning. Talk amongst dealers of a potential bid for S&N by Anheuser-Busch saw the UK-based company's share price rise by 8 pence yesterday to 486-1/2p. The share price at 1430 today stands at 480p.

S&N has been seen as a possible takeover target for the likes of AB and SABMiller in a consolidating global beer market, dealers said.

Comments from CSFB about the brewer also helped the share price rise. The broker said yesterday that S&N's Q1 volume dipped by only 1%, while the overall UK market declined by 4%. This market share improvement, which CSFB believes is likely to continue, was mainly driven by brand reinvestment and from more beneficial pub contracts.

CSFB reiterated its 'neutral' rating following a presentation by S&N to the broker's sales force, and maintained its 455 pence price target.