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UK: Diageo, SABMiller to split S&N? Report

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Diageo and SABMiller are pondering the break-up of Scottish & Newcastle, according to reports.

Citing unnamed sources, The Financial Times has claimed today (23 April) that the two London-based drinks companies have met to discuss the move. SABMiller is thought to be considering bidding 710p per share for S&N - valuing the transaction at around GBP9bn (US$)18bn including debt - with Diageo then acquiring S&N's UK beer business for around GBP3bn.

S&N's French business would be sold off, the paper claimed.

The report goes on to say that SABMiller would take control of S&N's 50% share in its Eastern Europe joint venture with Carlsberg, Baltic Beverages Holding.

The joint plan has been code-named Project Spice, the paper said, with one financier claiming Diageo is code-named 'Dill' in the discussions, SAB is 'Sage', and S&N is 'Saffron'.

When contacted by just-drinks today, neither Diageo or SABMiller would be drawn on the reports. "We will not comment on media speculation," a Diageo spokesperson said.


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