S&N sale set for the summer

22 February, 2008

Takeover by Carlsberg and Heineken likely to complete in second quarter

Carlsberg and Heineken's takeover of Scottish & Newcastle could be completed by early summer, according to S&N chief executive John Dunsmore.

Speaking at S&N's full-year financial results conference, held on Feb 19, ≠Dunsmore said: "Scheme documents will be published in the next few weeks, with completion in the second quarter. In the meantime, it remains very much business as usual."

Last month, Scottish & Newcastle's board recommended its shareholders accept an 800p-per-share offer from the Carlsberg/Heineken consortium.

If the deal goes through as expected, Dutch brewer Heineken will take control of S&N's UK operations, as well as its Irish, Portuguese, Finnish, Belgian, US and Indian operations.

In its annual results statement, Heineken said: "The intended acquisition represents a significant strategic step that will create strong platforms for growth.

"It is anticipated that the acquisition will provide extensive new distribution and portfolio platforms in the United Kingdom and other markets to drive premium Heineken brand growth."

It added: "The acquisition will also add attractive brands such as Newcastle Brown Ale, Foster's, John Smith's bitter and Strongbow cider to Heineken's brand portfolio."

Heineken's shareholders will be asked to approve the deal at its annual general meeting on April 17.

S&N's sales in the UK for the 12 months to Dec 31 were flat, with revenue down 7.8 per cent and on-trade sales suffering most. Globally, S&N's sales grew by 7.9 per cent to £4.2 billion, but pre-tax profits were flat at £444 million.

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