British brewer Scottish and Newcastle may sell its stake in Russia-based brewer Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH) to block a potential joint bid from Carlsberg and Heineken, a source said.
The source close to the matter told Reuters on Sunday that S&N is considering all options including selling its stake in BBH venture, which Carlsbeg wants to take a full control via its joint bid with Heineken.
Denmark's Carlsberg and Dutch Heineken announced their joint approach for the Edinburgh-based brewer last week, with Carlsberg intending to buy S&N's interest in BBH.
BBH is seen as the jewel in S&N's crown as it controls over 85 percent of Baltika, the biggest brewer in the world's third largest beer market, Russia, and provides around one third of S&N and Carlsberg's group earnings.
Heineken, the world's fourth largest brewer, would take over S&N's British business which includes Strongbow cider and John Smith's beer and its other European units including Belgium, Finland and Portugal.
S&N, which called the proposed break-up bid unsolicited and unwelcome, declined to comment.
The Sunday Telegraph said in an unsourced report that S&N could bring in a strategic partner, with SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch believed to have made contact with S&N to fend off the bid approach.
Other sources told Reuters last week that Carlsberg and Heineken were keen to promote a friendly approach and were pushing to get a firm proposal this week, which analysts say would be around 800 pence per share in cash and value the British group at 7.6 billion pounds ($15.6 billion).
S&N, Britain's last big independent brewer and No. 6 in the world, has been seen as a takeover target for many years with the world's No. 5 Carlsberg seen as the most likely suitor due to its joint ownership with S&N of the fast-growing BBH.