The Belgium beer giant Interbrew, hot from a major acquisition drive in the last two years, has indicated that that it will not participate in any major buys in the near future.

Talking to Reuters after its annual shareholders meeting, the company's comments were particularly aimed at the speculation over the future of US giant Miller Brewing and the German brewer Karlsberg.

Chief executive Hugo Powell said Interbrew was not interested in bidding for Miller or talking to Germany's Karlsberg Brauerei on the possibility of buying a stake in its domestic beer business.
"We don't want to participate in the mainstream market," he said, in reference to Miller. "Our policy in America is to focus on the premium import business."

Meanwhile, Patrice Thys, advisor to Interbrew's chairman, refuted that Interbrew talking with karlsberg about a possible 40% in the German business.  "There is no contact," he told a news conference after the shareholders meeting.

Interbrew re-affirmed its target of double-digit annual growth in earnings per share before goodwill between 2000-2004.