Rosie Davenport
Scottish & Newcastle has confirmed that the Bulmers name will live on beyond its £278m sale.
However, the future of the cider brands it has bought is looking less certain as the brewer this week launched a review of its new division.
Commentators predicted that despite keeping the cider maker's 116-year-old commercial name, the cider portfolio that S&N will retain is unlikely to resemble the existing line up, which includes Strongbow, Scrumpy Jack, Woodpecker and White Lightening.
One City analyst said: "There is a compelling logic to sell to other operators some of the smaller brands that currently don't have the opportunity to become more well-known."
Rival cider maker Matthew Clark could pick up any brands which S&N rejects, although it declined to comment.
Keith Hogg, managing director of Scottish Courage Brands, said: "The addition of the number one cider brand, Strongbow, complements our Foster's and John Smith's powerbrands and enables us to be a one-stop shop for customers across ales, lagers and cider."
Strongbow's future is likely to follow the path Bulmers mapped out for it as part of the firm's turnaround plan.
This would mean a significant reduction in the number of SKUs and an increased marketing investment.
S&N said the distribution agreements Bulmers had in place for San Miguel and Amstel would remain.
In the meantime, the brewer dismissed newspaper reports it was looking to introduce a premium strength cask-ale version of John Smith's into the on-trade as well as a version of Strongbow with a foamy head.