A&O corporate partners Alan Paul and Alun Eynon-Evans are leading the team acting for Heineken, while Norton Rose M&A partners Andrew Phillips and Philip Mellor are advising Carlsberg.
S&N is likely to turn to usual corporate counsel Linklaters, where corporate partner Matthew Middleditch handles the client relationship.
Heineken and Carlsberg are valuing S&N, the UK’s largest brewer, at around £7.2bn. The Danish brewer Carlsberg is understood to want to get its hands on S&N’s Russian and eastern European operations, which it currently co-owns with S&N, and its Greek and French arms, while Dutch company Heineken reportedly wants to bag the rest.
Heineken, Carlsberg and S&N are Europe’s third, fourth and fifth largest brewers and the carve-up is expected to dodge competition law issues.
No formal approach has been made to date but S&N’s share price rose by as much as 22 per cent today (18 October).
Linklaters, A&O and Norton Rose declined to comment.