Scottish & Newcastle could merge its Waverley wine and spirits business with drinks wholesaler The Beer Seller, acquired through its takeover of HP Bulmer.

The move would end speculation over the future of The Beer Seller in the wake of S&N’s £278m acquisition of cidermaker HP Bulmer last April.

S&N told The Times that there was an opportunity to create the leading wholesaler with a wine and beer specialisation, as well as "millions of pounds" in cost and buying synergies".