Shares in Scottish & Newcastle rose 10.5p to finish on 650.5p yesterday as takeover speculation continued to circle the brewer.

Danish brewer Carlsberg was immediately linked to S&N after its chief executive Nils Andersen and chairman Povl Krogsgaard-Larsen admitted the company could raise as much as 70bn crowns (£6.3bn) for acquisitions.

“We could probably raise 40-50bn crowns as equity and some 20bn crowns as debt, but we have no concrete plans to do acquisitions,” Andersen told Reuters.

Krogsgaard-Larsen added: "A major deal is likely. Carlsberg has the strength to become bigger.”

Analysts believe a merger between S&N and Carlsberg would make sense because the two brewers already operate a joint venture deal called Baltic Beverage Holdings in Eastern Europe.

In April this year, reports suggested rival brewers Diageo and SABMiller had held talks about breaking up S&N, with SABMiller picking up its international business and Diageo its UK beer business, but the reports were dismissed by analysts.