Tony Froggatt, chief executive of Scottish & Newcastle, will reportedly step down from the role in the next 12 months.

Froggatt, who was appointed CEO in May 2003, will step down early next year, according to reports. Internal candidates in the running to succeed him include John Dunsmore, S&N's head of Western Europe, John Nicolson, head of Eastern Europe, and finance director Ian McHoul.

Froggatt's departure will also increase takeover speculation that S&N could be the subject of a bid from a rival brewer. Rumours that Carlsberg could be interested in making a bid have circled the brewer for some months.