Seager steps into top S&N UK role

Scottish & Newcastle UK has appointed former marketing director Tim Seager

acting managing director

following John Dunsmore 's promotion to managing director of

its new

western Europe division.

Dunsmore said: "Tim has transformed our brands portfolio in the UK with outstanding work on all our key brands. As a consequence every one of them is growing its share of category. This achievement is unprecedented in the UK beer and cider market."

S&N and Carlsberg have both dismissed as speculation a report that a merger between the two brewers is "pretty much inevitable". Broker Merrill Lynch upgraded S&N's rating from "neutral" to "buy" and said the two companies could save costs by joining forces.

"We are of the opinion that this is a transaction that will ultimately happen, and this seems to be the opinion of the two management teams themselves," a Merrill Lynch spokesman said.

Carlsberg could raise £7 billion towards a potential brewery acquisition, but has "no concrete plans" to buy S&N, media relations director Jens Peter Skaarup has told OLN.

Danish authorities have approved a bid by majority shareholder the Carlsberg Foundation to change its charter in order to raise the cash, he explained.