Page last updated at 09:40 GMT, Friday, 18 April 2008 10:40 UK

Punch rules out pub deal with M&B

All Bar One
M&B owns the All Bar One and Harvester chains

Pub group Punch Taverns has said it has ended all talks with rival Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) over a possible deal.

Last month, Punch withdrew a takeover proposal for M&B, but suggested it might revive the bid if other firms joined it in making a combined offer.

However, Punch now says it has decided that a deal with M&B would not be in its shareholders' interests.

On Monday, M&B said it hoped to raise money from private equity investors to buy Punch's managed pubs division.

M&B, which owns the All Bar One, Browns and Harvester chains, was seen as vulnerable to a takeover bid earlier this year after it lost 274m through a collapsed property deal in 2007.

Punch said that it reserved the right to make a fresh takeover approach for M&B within the next six months if another party should make a bid or if there were any major changes at M&B.

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