Carlsberg woos Guinness

Carlsberg, the Danish brewer, is expected to offer Guinness the opportunity to buy its Carlsberg Tetley business as a means of preserving its brewing operation in the UK.

Carlsberg is prepared to withdraw from brewing in the UK in the wake of the Government's decision to block the acquisition by Bass of a controlling interest in Carlsberg Tetley.

Guinness was offered the chance to buy Allied Domecq's 50 per cent stake in Carlsberg Tetley two years ago, before it was offered to Bass, but showed no interest at that time.

Carlsberg does not believe that a stand-alone Carlsberg Tetley business is viable. Nor is it consistent with its international strategy to develop joint-venture operations. Carlsberg rejected the chance to buy Allied Domecq's 50 per cent stake.

Without a new joint-venture partner, the prospects for Carlsberg Tetley's five breweries look bleak. Already a sweeping review of its operations has been instigated and some closures are regarded as inevitable with the breweries at Alloa and Wrexham at most immediate risk.

However, Carlsberg's threat to withdraw from brewing in the UK and serve the market from elsewhere would result in even more job losses than are currently anticipated.

With Bass blocked as a buyer by the Government, Scottish & Newcastle facing similar competition obstacles and Whitbread ruled out because of the clash between its Heineken brand and the rival Carlsberg lager, only Guinness fits the Danish brewer's view of an appropriate join-venture partner.

Carlsberg told the Monopolies and Mergers Commission that in its experience long-term survivors at a national brewing level would be big brand owners who could support their trade marks through successful products, extensive distribution and high levels of marketing support.

Guinness fits the bill and it may be prepared to take more of an interest in Carlsberg Tetley than it did two years ago.

Guinness is the only independent brewer without a pub estate of any size in Britain. Carlsberg Tetley would give Guinness powerful bitter and lager brands to support its pre-eminence in stout in the UK.

An investment by Guinness would also demonstrate that the proposed merger with Grand Metropolitan to create GMG Brands was not exclusively about the spirits business.

In its own submission to the MMC, Guinness was one of the few brewers not to oppose the Bass acquisition of Carlsberg Tetley.

Both Scottish & Newcastle and Whitbread argued that the acquisition by Bass would operate against the public interest.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Foreign Exchange Dealer - OTE £40,000+

£16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Foreign Exchange Dealer is re...

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea