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SABMiller pulls out of S&N bid

Published:  23 July, 2008

US brewer SAB Miller has pulled out of negotiations for a buyout of Scottish & Newcastle in a move that is likely to leave the way clear for a Carlsberg and Heineken joint takeover.

In a statement SAB Miller said: "Following the recent release of additional information on the underlying Scottish & Newcastle plc business we undertook a preliminary evaluation of the group but decided not to take further action."

A 7.8 billion bid for S&N from Carlsberg and Heineken now has a good chance of suceeding, with Carlsberg keen to take on S&N's Russian joint venture, BBH, as sales of its beer in western Europe slow down.

SAB Miller has a 6% share of the Russian market, but has developed brewing interests across the globe, including the purchase last year of Danish brewer Grolsch. Hence the Russian drinker is not seen as essential a capture at the US firm as it is for Carlsberg.