Scottish & Newcastle, the brewer at the centre of a takeover battle with Carlsberg and Heineken, has unveiled an overhaul of its UK operations as part of a company strategy to become “leaner, tougher and faster”.

The UK market accounted for 60% of S&N's cash generation over the past three years and S&N said it planned to grow its market share and profitability in the UK.

As part of its plans, it has secured an on-trade production and packaging agreement with Coors UK, it will enter a joint venture with Q-Group to build a new cider mill in Herefordshire and has started consulting with staff to move its “under-utilised” bottling plant at its Berkshire brewery to its Tadcaster bottling facility.

It also confirmed the sale of its French on-trade distribution business to Centrale Europeenne de Distribution for £85m.

“Let there be no doubt: for the team at S&N, shareholder value maximisation is paramount,” said S&N CEO John Dunsmore. “Nothing is sacred. I passionately believe that S&N will deliver value to its shareholders that vindicates our response to the consortium proposal.”

“The board of S&N is in no doubt that the highly conditional proposal from Carlsberg and Heineken to acquire S&N for 750p per share is wholly inadequate, as it substantially undervalues the unique strengths and market positions of S&N,” he added.

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