Scottish & Newcastle is hatching secret plans to fend off a hostile takeover bid from rivals Carlsberg. It will highlight its strong growth potential in China and India while trying to convince investors that its value will grow substantially if it remains independent. S&N is understood to have held talks with potential white knights ahead of a possible Carlsberg bid and insiders indicated they would not recommend to shareholders anything less than a £10bn cash offer or a merger that kept a London Stock Exchange listing. Speculation has been growing for weeks that S&N would be a bid target for the Danish predator. But this was dented last week when Carlsberg chairman Povl Krogsgaard-Larsen hinted instead at spending between £3bn and £4bn buying out S&N's half of their Russian joint venture Baltic Beverages Holding. S&N shares fell more than 2% as a result. But just days earlier Carlsberg's departing chief executive Nils Andersen had said a deal with S&N would be very attractive. Sunday Times business editor John Waples has accused the Danes of "playing fast and loose" with S&N's share price. As a result, he says, the patience of the Edinburgh group is beginning to wear thin. If Carslberg was a UK-listed company, adds Waples, the stock exchange would have demanded it clarify its intentions and S&N should insist it does. Analyst Trevor Stirling argues that the only thing holding up the S&N share price is the belief that a bid is coming in the long term. He argues there is a benefit to doing so, but says that in the short term it looks like too much of a financial stretch for Carlsberg. The Mail on Sunday (Financial Mail) 09/09/07 page 1 The Observer 09/09/07 (Business) page 7 The Sunday Times 09/09/07 (Business) page 3.4