Carlsberg-Heineken files bid for Scottish & Newcastle

Danish and Dutch brewers end weeks of speculation by announcing a formal bid to buy Britain's S&N for £7.6 billion

Danish brewer Carlsberg on Friday formally announced that Sunrise Acquisitions Limited, a company set up jointly with Dutch brewer Heineken, has agreed with their UK peer Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) to buy all the shares in S&N for 800 pence in cash for each share.

The offer values S&N’s entire existing issued share capital at approximately £7.6 billion (EUR 10 billion). Including share capital that is to be issued as part of the take-over deal, the offer amounts to about £7.8 billion. No final dividend will be payable on the S&N shares.

Carlsberg said the offer is 50.7 percent above the closing price of 531 pence per S&N share on 28 March 2007, which was the date speculation first arose of a possible bid for S&N.

Today’s deal means Carlsberg gets a wish fulfilled. It has long wanted full ownership of Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH), where the Danish and British breweries each hold 50 percent. BBH, which Carlsberg says it its key growth asset, sells beers and soft drinks in the Baltic, eastern European and Russian markets – and has a very strong position in the fast-growing and lucrative Russian beer market.

S&N’s French, Greek, Chinese and Vietnamese operations will also be transferred to Carlsberg.

Heineken will hold the remaining S&N businesses, principally the UK and Ireland, Portuguese, Finnish, Belgian, US and Indian operations.

The businesses will be separated as soon as possible and in any event within 12 months after the effective date of the take-over, Carlsberg said.

‘This is a truly transformational transaction for Carlsberg,’ said Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen, president and chief executive officer of Carlsberg. ‘In a single step we have created the world’s fastest growing global brewer. We now have full control of our destiny in Russia and other BBH territories and I am truly excited about the new opportunities this will present to us.’

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