Carlsberg, Heineken given S&N bid deadline

Carlsberg and Heineken have been given four weeks to make a formal offer for Scottish & Newcastle or withdraw their bid for the UK brewer.

The Takeover Panel, which regulates takeovers and mergers in the UK, has given the consortium until noon on Jan 21 2008 to table a bid.

The Danish and Dutch brewers have formed a consortium to buy S&N, but their latest offer of 750p a share was rejected by S&N’s board.

Carlsberg and Heineken said: “We welcome the introduction of a timetable. It will focus all parties on the merits of our proposal and consequences of S&N shareholders missing out on a value creating transaction. We urge S&N to open talks with us as soon as possible so we can agree the terms of a formal recommended offer, by the deadline of 12 noon on 21 January 2008.”

In a statement, S&N said the ruling "is in the interests of the company and its shareholders that this long period of uncertainty is brought to an end".

In a separate development, S&N UK’s customer marketing director David Goadby will take on the role of acting sales manager for the off-trade, covering for Mark Gerken who is recovering from illness. Gerken is expected to return to his role in March.