Carlsberg and Heineken, the brewers making a joint bid for Scottish & Newcastle, have admitted they could increase their 750p-a-share offer for the rival brewer.

Media reports over the weekend had suggested Carlsberg and Heineken would not increase their offer - rejected last month by S&N - but in a statement admitted the offer could increase.

“While it has no plans to raise its proposal above 750p, it wishes to re-confirm that it reserves the right to increase its proposal should it so decide,” the consortium said.

“The consortium reiterates that its proposal to acquire S&N for 750p per share in cash delivers full and fair value and is at a level substantially in excess of the standalone independent value of S&N.”