Even though Carlsberg-Tetley has denied claims that it has submitted comments about its interest in the possible acquisition of the Carling lager brand from Interbrew it has not denied that it would not be interested in the brand.

A spokesman on behalf of Colin Povey, chief executive of Carlsberg-Tetley told just-drinks.com: "Carlsberg-Tetley is always looking at opportunities to strengthen its position in the UK."

But commenting on reports that the company has submitted preliminary comments about its interest in acquiring Carling and the rights to make another Interbrew brand, Stella Artois in the UK to the Office of Fair Trading, Margrethe Skov, director of public affairs for Carlsberg told just-drinks.com: "All of that is pure speculation.

"We don't know what the possibilities will be in the UK. We still don't know the outcome of the minister's decision and we won't know that until the end of July, which means we don't know if Interbrew will have to sell, what they will have to sell and what the prices will be," she added.

The Belgian brewer's deal to buy Bass Brewers was blocked by UK authorities in January on competition grounds and it was ordered to sell the UK brewer. Last month Interbrew won a London High Court action that required the OFT and the ministry to reconsider the decision.

The office of Fair Trading has said that it will make a recommendation to the trade and industry minister on Interbrew's takeover of Bass Brewers in July.