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PORTUGAL: S&N/Centralcer deal hits delay

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According to reports in Portugal, the sale of the remaining 51% in the Portuguese brewer, Central de Cervejas (Centralcer), to the UK brewer, Scottish & Newcastle (S&N), has been delayed as the fine details of the deal are agreed.

The 51% participation is currently owned by the Portuguese holding company, VTR, which is in turn controlled by the bank, Banco Espirito Santo (BES). However, sources have been quoted as saying that the deal will be completed within the next few weeks.

Analysts expect S&N to pay around €180m (US$201.9m) for the stake, including more than €40m (US$44.9m) in cash. The remainder of the price is expected to be met through the assumption of some of Centralcer's debts.

S&N acquired a 49% share in Centralcer, Portugal's second largest brewing force, in 2000, for around €152m (US$170m).


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