Carlsberg bids $3 billion for Bass

Heineken may still be in running for British breweries

May 17, 2000 - A Copenhagen newspaper reports that Danish brewer Carlsberg has offered up to $3 billion for the six breweries in Britain's Bass group.


A decision from Bass is expected in early June. Bass put the breweries on the block because the company plans to focus more on its Holiday Inn and other hotel holdings and expanding its pub chains.

Indications are that Dutch brewing giant Heineken may still be in the running to acquire Bass.

A few weeks ago, Ebbe Dinesen, chief executive of Carlsberg-Tetley, said he was unable to comment on the Bass Brewers auction because Carlsberg had signed a confidentiality agreement with Bass. However, he added: "We are the number four in the UK beer market, which is a position we'd like to improve."

A Carlsberg spokeswoman repeated Wednesday that the confidentiality agreement kept Carlsberg from commenting on the most recent reports and left it to Bass to reply. Bass had no immediate comment and said no announcement was planned this week.

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