S&N enlists Swedish firm on Carlsberg arbitration

Linklaters client Scottish & Newcastle has turned to Swedish arbitration specialist Jacob Melander at Hammarskiöld & Co as its defence against a Heineken-Carlsberg consortium takeover bid hots up.

S&N has enlisted Hammarskiöld to lead the Linklaters Stockholm team acting in arbitration proceedings against a Carslberg subsidiary. Peter Kennerley, company secretary and general counsel of S&N, said Hammarskiöld was drafted in to “augment the legal team” in Sweden.

S&N has started arbitration proceedings in Stockholm over a joint venture agreement with Carlsberg in order to gain full control of Baltic Beverages Holdings (BBH). BBH is currently co-owned by Carlsberg and S&N. It is understood that Carlsberg wants to take full control of the Russian and eastern European brewing operation if the takeover with Heineken goes ahead.

Carlsberg, advised by Norton Rose and Swedish firm Vinge, issued a statement this week (20 November) claiming that S&N’s case has “no merit” and “no foundation”, adding that Carlsberg itself is not a party to the joint venture agreement that lies at the centre of the arbitration.

However, S&N’s Swedish counsel Melander told The Lawyer he was surprised that Carlsberg made a public statement about the case and “started a media battle”. He added that S&N believes Carlsberg’s statements were “spurious and unfounded”.

Carlsberg’s counsel Vinge declined to comment.