Carlsberg and Heineken have criticised Scottish & Newcastle for rejecting the consortium's increased 750p-a-share offer for the company.

The brewers, which yesterday increased their bid for S&N from 720p-a-share to 750p-a-share, said they were “very disappointed by the tone and speed of S&N's response”.

“We find the board's intransigence and ill-informed rejection very disappointing,” said Carlsberg CEO Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen. “The time has come for S&N shareholders to direct their board to engage with us.”

The bid, which valued S&N at £7.3bn, was rejected within a matter of hours by S&N.

“The board, having consulted its advisers, has no hesitation in rejecting this wholly inadequate proposal as it substantially undervalues the unique strengths and market positions of S&N,” the brewer said in a statement.

Shares in S&N rose by 16.5p to finish on 757p yesterday following the bid, although analysts questioned why S&N had rejected it so hastily.

“It is disappointing that they rejected the offer as quickly as they did,” a brewing analyst told the Daily Telegraph. “At 750p-a-share, the offer is comfortably within 10% of where most people expect the company to be sold. To call it wholly inadequate is just inaccurate.”