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UK: S&N, Carlsberg row to be settled in June

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Scottish & Newcastle has said it expects an arbitration ruling on its disagreement with Carlsberg over their joint venture to be made in June.

The UK brewer believes that Carlsberg's joint bid for S&N with Heineken, initially launched in October, represents an effective breach of the confidential shareholder agreement over Baltic Beverages Holding, the brewers' joint venture in Eastern Europe. In October, S&N gave notice to Carlsberg of the alleged breaches by Carlsberg, and initiated formal arbitration proceedings in Sweden.

"The Arbitral Tribunal will be requested to confirm the breaches of the agreement by Carlsberg and to confirm that Carlsberg is obliged to offer its shares to S&N in accordance with the agreement," S&N said at the time.

Earlier today (5 December), S&N announced that the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce has appointed a chairman to the Arbitral Tribunal to rule on the case.

"The rules of the SCC provide that, in most cases, an arbitration decision is expected within six months of the Arbitral Tribunal being constituted," S&N said. "This suggests a decision would be expected before the end of June 2008.

"Arbitration decisions cannot be appealed except on procedural grounds."

S&N said that it welcomed the appointment, and that its board "continues to be confident that the Arbitral Tribunal will confirm its claims under the BBH Shareholders' Agreement and that S&N will therefore have the opportunity to take control of BBH and hence maximise value for shareholders".


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