Carlsberg hopes to have completed negotiations to sell off a handful of soft drinks brands to The Coca-Cola Company by the second quarter of this year, a spokesman reiterated to just-drinks today.

The spokesman denied press reports that Carlsberg was selling of selling 1.1 billion Danish crowns worth of water and soft drink brands to Coca-Cola to help cover hefty interest costs following the takeover of Scottish & Newcastle PLC.

The spokesman said that the negotiations between Coca-Cola and Carlsberg had been going for some time and had nothing to do with the deal to acquire S&N.

As reported on just-drinks last week, Carlsberg has signed a letter of intent to acquire the trademark and other brand-owner rights to water brands Kildevaeld, Kurvand and Ramlosa in Denmark, the soft drink Hyvaa Paivaa and energy drink Battery in Finland.

Terms of the deal were not available and a spokesperson for Coca-Cola said last week: "Discussions are still ongoing at this stage. The acquisition is expected to be finalised in the second quarter of 2008."