The Belgian brewer, Interbrew, has been prevented from integrating its Beck's beer brand into its US distribution operation. A Second US Circuit Court of Appeals judgment upheld a suit in a lower court, brought by the Mexican brewer, Femsa, preventing Interbrew from merging Beck's beer brand into its Labatt USA operation.

Last year, the Mexican company won an order from the US District Court in New York blocking Interbrew's distribution plans to put Beck's into its Labatt USA portfolio. Femsa, which owns 30% of Labatt USA, contended that the arrival of Beck's would reduce the attention paid to its own brands in the portfolio.

Interbrew said it would not be appealing against the decision, adding that the court ruling would not have an impact on its finances or the day-to-day management of its US operations.

Femsa said after the ruling that its priority now was "to continue with the constructive dialogue currently in process between Femsa Cerveza and Interbrew regarding Labatt USA and the strategy going forward."

Interbrew had hoped to make annual savings of €10m by distributing Beck's through Labatt USA rather than the existing Beck's structure. Interbrew owns the remaining 70% in Labatt USA.