Bid to Buy S&N Raised to $15.3Bln

LONDON -- Carlsberg and Heineken raised their bid for Scottish & Newcastle for a third time Thursday, to force Britain's biggest brewer into talks on a £7.8 billion ($15.3 billion) takeover.

The Danish-Dutch bidding consortium increased its joint bid to 800 pence a share in cash on Thursday from 780 pence, and the whole of the extra cost will be funded by Denmark's Carlsberg in a move that will split up the British brewer of Foster's and Kronenbourg.

The latest offer is at a 26 percent premium to S&N's closing share price on Oct. 16, the day before Carlsberg and Heineken first announced their approach.

Britain's Takeover Panel meanwhile agreed to extend its deadline for a firm offer by three days to Jan. 24 to enable Carlsberg and Heineken to complete its due diligence.

Sources close to the deal said the price of a recommendation from the S&N board was a bid of 800 pence and full financial details for Baltic Beverages Holding, the joint venture S&N runs with Carlsberg in Russia and other former Soviet Union nations.

S&N's main defense through the three-month bid saga has been to seek an accurate valuation of BBH.