Scottish & Newcastle, the holding company of the UK's largest brewer, Scottish Courage, has denied media reports that it is on the verge of launching a number of new brands into the UK market.
Following the company's acquisition of Kronenbourg from French company Danone in July for £1.7billion, speculation had been rife that S&N had earmarked a UK release for a number of its newly acquired continental brands including Kanterbrau, Grimbergen, Cristal and Judas, and planned to significantly extend the on-trade distribution of Nastro Azzuro and Maes.
However, Scottish Courage spokesman David Jones denied any imminent launch of new brands. "Obviously, we're always looking at the possible options to improve, but the reports that we are preparing for a barrage of new brand launches are simply not true," he said.
S&N has also rebutted suggestions that it is in discussions with Becks about a European-wide distribution deal that may lead to a full takeover of the family-owned German beer business.
Richard Gibb, Scottish Courage group corporate affairs director, said: "There are definitely no talks with Becks about a European-wide distribution agreement. We talk to Becks all the time. S&N distributes the brand in the UK but there are no plans for extending that relationship."