Lawyers acting on behalf of Scottish & Newcastle have written to potential buyers Carlsberg and Heineken, warning them not to use private information concerning the brewer’s joint Russian venture, BBH, to form a bid, say reports in The Times today.

The value of the Carlsberg and S&N Russian joint venture could be critical to the outcome of the proposed bid for the UK’s biggest brewer.

S&N’s chief executive John Dunsmore recently said that by being part of the joint bid Heineken was “indirectly misusing” information on BBH. The accusation forms part of an arbitration case S&N has brought against Carlsberg in Sweden. The brewer is demanding Carlsberg sell its 50% stake in BBH because it says the Dutch brewer violated terms of their shareholder agreement.