Scottish & Newcastle has refused to be drawn on claims that its defence against a pending takeover cost the brewer in the region of GBP50m (US$97.1m).

A report in UK newspaper The Times today (20 February) said that the UK company has racked up costs in the region of GBP50m as part of the process which led to Carlsberg and Heineken upping their offer to an acceptable amount.

The two European brewers initially offered GBP7.20 per share for S&N in October, but finally secured agreement from the UK company last month when they offered GBP8.00 per share. As part of the row, S&N challenged Carlsberg over the full-ownership of their Baltic Beverages Holding joint venture in Eastern Europe.

When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for S&N declined to comment on the reports, highlighting, however, that the brewer announced earlier this week that GBP9m had been spent on defending the company from Carlsberg and Heineken.

Separate sources have told just-drinks that the arbitration process between S&N and Carlsberg is continuing, despite S&N's board recommending the takeover bid. "The arbitration process will continue until S&N is sold," the source told just-drinks.

A decision by the Arbitral Tribunal in Stockholm over which of the two brewers can lay claim to BBH is expected in June, unless Carlsberg and Heineken's takeover closes before then.