S&N could save £100 million in BBH takeover

08 January, 2008

Scottish & Newcastle says it could save £100 million a year if it took control of BBH, the joint venture it has with Carlsberg.

Scottish & Newcastle says it could save £100 million a year if it took control of Baltic Beverage Holdings, the joint venture it has with Carlsberg.

In a statement, the brewer said making changes such as using bulk-buying power, reducing management costs and transferring processes it already uses in Western Europe would help it to save £80 million.

A further £20 million could be saved by increasing exports and improving pricing of BBH’s brands.

S&N chief executive John Dunsmore, said: “While the consortium continues to seek to acquire S&N’s unique portfolio of assets on the cheap, we are continuing to explore fully every option to deliver shareholder value. Carlsberg’s desire to terminate the BBH joint venture by circumventing the BBH shareholders’ agreement provides a huge opportunity for us to take control of BBH through a successful arbitration process.

“We have studied the implications closely with our advisers and believe that this would be in the best interests of our shareholders. Controlling BBH would make S&N one of the most attractive international beverage businesses.”

S&N submitted a detailed claim to the arbitral tribunal in Stockholm yesterday, accusing Carlsberg of "misusing confidential information" and breaching its duty of loyalty.

A decision is due by July 3.

Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on Heineken and Carlsberg to improve their offer of 750p per share (£7.3bn) to take over S&N. The pair have until Jan 21 to up their offer or walk away in a deadline set by the UK Takeover Panel.

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