A kitchen cabinet, headed by new chief executive John Dunsmore, has been set up by Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) to see off Carlsberg and Heineken's bid for the company.
Scotland on Sunday reports that Dunsmore has been joined by Sir Brian Stewart, Sir Angus Grossart and Philip Bowman.
S&N last week announced it had initiated formal arbitration proceedings alleging that Carlsberg had breached its agreement over Baltic Beverage Holdings and must now sell it all its shares.
Carlsberg slammed the claims as "spurious".
One source told the paper: "It is a hell of an experienced team, they [S&N] wouldn't have begun legal action if they didn't think they had a case. This will be a very close fight."