Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) is a beer-led drinks business and is currently ranked number seven by volume sales in the world’s top 10 brewers. Its business is primarily focused on Europe, where it is the number four brewer in volume terms and number two in profit terms. Its portfolio includes three of Europe’s top 10 beer brands in Baltika, Foster’s and Kronenbourg 1664 along with national market leaders, such as John Smith’s and Strongbow. The early part of 2007 has proved a mixed bag for S&N as it acknowledged a weak consumer environment in Western Europe would affect its sales figures and also revealed its concern concerning the forthcoming smoking ban in pubs – it envisages a £10 million drop in profits. Despite this, it expected to meet its market expectations for profits as a result of strong growth in Eastern Europe and Asia. Then at the end of March speculation emerged concerning the takeover of the brewer. Carlsberg, Heineken, SABMiller, Diageo and countless private equity firms are rumoured to have been pursuing S&N since late March. At the same time, S&N is also involved in suing consultancy firm PwC over the advice it gave concerning the restructuring of the brewer’s Scottish Courage subsidiary. PwC allegedly advised a radical restructuring and a lean supply chain to be implemented over four to five years. Apparently S&N was led to believe that this would lead to annual revenue savings of £35 million a year by year four. But it said that costs actually rose and it eventually aborted the overhaul.