Punch calls off Mitchells talks

Pub group Punch Taverns today called off all talks about a potential deal with rival Mitchells & Butlers.

Pub group Punch Taverns today called off all talks about a potential deal with rival Mitchells & Butlers.

The two groups have been in discussions over a series of proposals in recent weeks, including a private equity backed bid from M&B for Punch’s managed pub arm.

They followed the collapse of merger talks between the firms last month.

But today Punch, which is Britain’s biggest pub group, said “any transaction” with All Bar One and O’Neills owner M&B would not be in the interest of shareholders.

The company said: “Punch has concluded that pursuing any transaction with Mitchells & Butlers, including any transaction involving Punch’s managed pub business, would not be in the best interests of Punch shareholders at the current time and confirms that all such discussions have terminated.”

Punch did leave the way open for a takeover attempt later this year, saying it reserved the right to make a new bid within six months if the circumstances “materially” changed, such as M&B management.

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