Carlsberg's proposed takeover of Holsten has been delayed, according to press reports. The German news agency VWD said on Friday that the move could not progress until the German securities regulator BAFin approved the bid.

The agency, citing unidentified sources, reported that BAFin would refrain from approving the takeover pending the results of an ongoing investigation.

Late last month, it was reported that BAFin intended to investigate the leap in Holsten's share price, which occurred shortly before the takeover bid had been announced. BaFin said it was making its probe into price manipulation and insider trading. Holsten's share price rose from an intra-day low of €25.35 on 12 Jan to an intra-day high of €34.50 on 19 Jan, a rise of 36.48%.

A spokesperson for BAFin confirmed that the approval hasn't been given yet, but would not give a reason for the delay.