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Foster's says it is unaware of takeover bid.

AP-Australia's best-known beer company, Foster's, said last week it was not aware of a takeover bid by Dutch brewer Heineken.

In a front-page story, respected newspaper The Australian reported Heineken, the world's second largest brewer after U.S. giant Anheuser Busch, has secured a $5.2 billion credit line with a Dutch bank to help fund the estimated $7.8 billion bid.

But in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Foster's played down the report.

"As a matter of company policy, Foster's Brewing Group does not comment on speculation about its business activities," the company said.

"However, we can confirm that Foster's Brewing Group is not aware of any potential takeover offer by Heineken."

Despite Foster's comment, the company's shares soared 4.4 percent to $2.74 in early trading.

The newspaper reported that Heineken was principally interested in Foster's growing wine interests. The Melbourne-based company recently paid $1.3 billion to add Californian winemaker Beringer Estates to its strong stable of Australian wine labels.

Australia's Treasurer Peter Costello recently rejected a $5.2 billion takeover bid by the Royal Dutch/Shell group for Australian oil producer Woodside Petroleum, saying it was against national interests.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 21, 2001
Previous Article:Heineken denies it is in talks to buy Foster's.
Next Article:MADD wants anti-alcohol ads similar to anti-drug campaign.

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