United Breweries has suggested a close relationship with Heineken, after the Dutch brewer lined up the takeover of Scottish & Newcastle last week.

Reports from India yesterday (30 January) said that UB is taking a friendly stance towards Heineken. The Dutch company will take control of S&N's 37.5% stake in UB, should the takeover bid prove successful.

Speaking to the Financial Times, UB's president and CFO, AKR Nedungadi, said: "In terms of global distribution of Kingfisher (UB's main beer brand) and the introduction of some of their brands in India - that is something we could look at."

Under Indian law, Heineken's move could trigger an open offer for a 20% stake in the brewer. With entrepreneur Vijay Mallya also holding 37.5% of UB, the paper suggested that UB could become the subject of a takeover battle, should the 20% stake come up.

Speaking last week at the unveiling of the recommended offer, Heineken's chairman and CEO, Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, said: "We've been reaching out to Mr Mallya, and we hope to work with him. It's a little too early to go into details, but this is an outstanding opportunity for us."

The GBP8.00 per share bid for S&N is expected to close within the next three months.