Carlsberg and Heineken said they were "very disappointed" Scottish & Newcastle had rejected the consortium's increased bid of 750p/share in cash for the rival brewer and claimed that the decision was "ill-informed".

The updated bid, which valued the group at £7.3bn, was "a full and fair offer", said Carlsberg and Heineken in a statement.

However, the bid was rejected by S&N as "wholly inadequate". "The consortium's proposal significantly undervalues S&N's brands and market positions," said S&N CEO John Dunsmore. S&N rejected last month's 720p/share bid on the grounds it was "unsolicited and derisory".