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.