S&N in bid talks as brewers raise offer

After three months spent resisting a break-up offer from Carlsberg and Hein-eken, Scottish & Newcastle has finally agreed to takeover talks with its suitors as they agreed to increase their bid price, for the third time, to 800p per share.

In an announcement to the stock market, the brewer of John Smith's and Newcastle Brown Ale said that it had begun "discussions in relation to a possible recommended offer" and asked for an extension of the "put-up or shut-up" deadline that is set to expire at noon on Monday until 24 January.

A deal at 800p would be seen as a triumph for the S&N chairman Sir Brian Stewart, who has resisted several lower offers from the Danish and Dutch bidders. They began with an unsolicited offer of 720p per share in late October. The latest proposal is conditioned on limited due diligence, though, assuming it goes through, most invest-ors are expected to accept it. Several analysts had mooted the 800p as an appropriate price when the process first began.

The talks are likely to revolve around a few key points. S&N will seek assurance that the dividend, expected to be about 15p, will be paid out to shareholders.

It is understood that the brewer will also continue with the arbitration proceedings it has begun against Carlsberg in Sweden, where it is arguing that Carlsberg had breached a shareholder agreement governing their joint ownership of BBH and should be forced to sell it its stake in the Russian brewer at the heart of the takeover battle, until any deal is closed.

The Edinburgh brewer is also expected to push for Carlsberg to release earnings and growth expectations of BBH – information it has until now declined to reveal – to allow shareholders to make a more informed vote.

Under the deal, Heineken would become the UK's biggest brewer by taking control of the operations here, as well as S&N's businesses in western Europe and America. It will be the number two in Portugal, Belgium and Finland.

Carlsberg would take full control of BBH, as well as the businesses in China, France and Greece. Having already agreed to pay 54 per cent of the headline price before the price began creeping up, it is on the hook for nearly all of the improved offer price. Of the 50p increase from 750p to 800p, Carlsberg has pledged to pay 45p of it. Its shares hit a 52-week low on the news.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee