An expanding brewery giant has made a £270m offer for a 174-year-old family company which owns 268 pubs.
Greene King owns a selection of well-known beer brands
The merger with Hardys and Hansons, which owns Kimberley Brewery, Notts, will bring Suffolk-based Greene King's estate to more than 2,400 pubs.
Greene King will continue to brew Hardys beers although the future of the brewery has not been disclosed.
Family shareholders at Hardys hold about 50% of the voting rights and are backing the deal.
Patrick Helps, chairman of the holding company which represents family shareholders, said: "It is a watershed in the company's 174-year history.
"However, we could not have wished for a better owner than Greene King to continue Hardys and Hansons' heritage, culture and successful business model."
He said he had confidence that Greene King would "show sensitivity" as it integrated the two businesses.