Carlsberg, Heineken sign deal for S&N

Scottish & Newcastle has emerged from the trenches to agree to a £7.8bn takeover bid from the Carlsberg and Heineken consortium.

The brewers struck an agreement on Friday morning, following months of wrangling and only hours before a ‘put up or shut up’ deadline imposed by the UK Takeover Panel.

The deal, worth 800p per S&N share, marks around a £1bn increase on Carlsberg and Heineken’s original offer for the UK brewer last October.

Heineken will take S&N’s UK portfolio, including John Smiths, Foster’s and Kronenbourg 1664 brands, to become the country’s largest brewer. It will also get S&N’s operations in Portugal, Ireland, Finland, Belgium, US and India.

Heineken chief executive, Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, said: “This is a significant strategic step for Heineken. It gives us undisputed leadership in Europe and creates significant opportunities in profitable markets to grow the premium Heineken brand.”

Carlsberg, thought to be financing 60 per cent of the deal, will gain control of the lucrative Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH), its joint venture with S&N in Eastern Europe.

The Danish brewer will also take control of Kronenbourg in France, as well as S&N’s business in China.

Carlsberg chief executive Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen said the move would “transform” the brewer. “In a single step we have created the world's fastest growing global brewer.”

The deal is subject to approval by the brewers’ shareholders and competition authorities.