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Analysts predict Carlsberg will delay S&N bid

City analysts believe that the elevation of John Dunsmore to the chief executive’s post at Scottish & Newcastle signals that Britain’s biggest brewer is making it as hard as possible for Carlsberg to mount a bid.

Dunsmore has been running S&N’s Western European operations and knows its Russian business, the part Carlsberg really wants, inside out.

Dunsmore takes over from Tony Froggatt later this month in a fast-track move to allow him to be in place in time to oversee targets and budgets for next year. This, analysts say, will encourage big shareholders to evaluate his strategy before reacting to any offer from Carlsberg. Froggat is stepping down as planned after five years at the helm.

He has a strong rapport with key investors and City analysts and is regarded as a “safe pair of hands”, having been a drinks analyst and an equities trader before returning to S&N where he began his career as a graduate trainee.

© Ron Emler, db 3 October 2007

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