COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Danish brewer Carlsberg said Wednesday it was in talks with Heineken about a joint acquisition of beer maker Scottish & Newcastle PLC.
A statement, which came after months of rumors that Carlsberg A/S was interested in acquiring the Scottish brewer, sent shares of S&N up nearly 20 percent.
Copenhagen-based Carlsberg said in the statement that no offer was on the table, but if one were to be made, it would likely be in cash. Neither company said how much they were willing to pay for the maker of Newcastle Brown Ale and Kronenbourg 1664 lager.
Carlsberg and Tuborg brands would acquire Scottish & Newcastle's interest in the joint-venture Baltic Beverages Holding, in Russia, France and Greece, according to the statement.
Heineken NV, a Dutch brewer, would assume control of Scottish & Newcastle's business in Britain and other European markets.
Speculation about a tie-up boosted shares of all three companies.
Shares of Scottish & Newcastle rose 19.4 percent to 760 pence (US$15.48) in London while Carlsberg gained 7.6 percent to 815 kroner ($154.77). Heineken NV rose more than 4.7 percent to 48.15 euros ($68.29) in Amsterdam.
The beer industry is consolidating. British brewer SABMiller said last week that it would combine its U.S. and Puerto Rico operations with Coors Brewing Co. in a joint venture that could create new competition for Anheuser-Busch, the largest brewer in the U.S.