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European beer giants Heineken and Carlsberg are discussing to join forces to take over Scottish & Newcastle. This does not mean a merger between the Danes and the Dutch, however, they intend to split the spoils:

A statement from Carlsberg said: “An offer, if made, is likely to be in cash. It is currently intended that Carlsberg will ultimately acquire Scottish & Newcastle’s interest in Baltic Beverage Holdings, France and Greece and that Heineken will ultimately assume control of Scottish & Newcastle’s business in the UK and other European markets.”

This will give Carlsberg full control over BBH, which has a forty per cent market share in the rapidly expanding Russian market. Carlsberg has much better profits in Russia than in Western Europe for the time being.

Sources: Morning Advertiser, Politiken

Update: Scottish & Newcastle follows the British principle of keeping a stiff upper lip in times of attack:

The proposed break-up bid from Heineken and Carlsberg, the company’s joint
venture partner in BBH, is unsolicited and unwelcome.

S&N is confident in its future as an independent group with a combination of
strong growth in emerging markets and cash generation in developed markets.

S&N strongly urges shareholders to take no action at this time. A further
announcement will be made if appropriate.

Seeing the beer range they choose to promote on their web site, I would not want to buy their beers, let alone their breweries. Kronenbourg 1664, Fosters, Baltika, Grimbergen (OK, maybe a bottle..) and Newcastle Brown Ale. Nothing very Scottish about that list!

But I love their wording.  A further announcement will be made if appropriate.

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