LONDON (AP) — Brewer Scottish & Newcastle PLC rejected a joint 6.8 billion pound (US$13.9 billion) offer from rivals Carlsberg AS and Heineken NV on Thursday, describing the approach as a derisory attempt to get its ''unique portfolio of businesses on the cheap.''
Scottish & Newcastle said that Carlsberg and Heineken had made a highly conditional proposal of 720 pence (US$14.76) per share.
The brewer of Newcastle Brown Ale and Kronenbourg 1664 lager said that the offer substantially undervalued the unique strengths and market positions of Scottish & Newcastle.
''This unsolicited and derisory proposal is an effort to get S&N's unique portfolio of businesses on the cheap,'' said Chairman Brian Stewart. ''I strongly urge shareholders to take no action.''
Carlsberg and Heineken confirmed Wednesday they were in talks with Heineken about acquiring Scottish & Newcastle and dividing its holdings up between them.
However, the offer announced Thursday fell short of analysts' predictions that a bid could top 800 pence (US$16.40) a share, giving Scottish & Newcastle a value of nearly 7.6 billion pounds (US$15.48 billion).
Under the deal, Copenhagen-based Carlsberg would acquire Scottish & Newcastle's interest in the joint-venture Baltic Beverages Holding, in Russia, France and Greece. Dutch brewer Heineken NV would assume control of Scottish & Newcastle's business in Britain and other European markets.
Scottish & Newcastle shares fell 0.2 percent to 761 pence (US$15.60) Thursday, after surging almost 19 percent on Wednesday.
The beer industry is consolidating. British brewer SABMiller said earlier this month 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 United States.