Allied still open to rival bids

ALLIED DOMECQ, the drinks group which is trying to sell its pubs, is to give bidders more time to top Whitbread's bid after talks with the pub and brewing giant hit difficulties.

It is understood that Punch Taverns, the privately owned group that owns 1,800 pubs, will have longer than the usual 21 days to come up with a higher offer for Allied's 3,600 outlets once the deal is announced.

The concession comes after a series of delays in the completion of Whitbread's offer. An announcement was due last week but has been put off until Wednesday. One source said: "It's next week or never."

Hugh Osmond, Punch Taverns chief, believes he can come up with a higher offer.

Analysts also consider that Bass, the leisure group which has also expressed an interest, would be able to out-bid Whitbread based on it superior potential for cost savings. Allied shareholders would then have to choose between the bids.

There are signs that Allied has become more open to the interest of rival bidders, following earlier criticism of its decision to enter exclusive negotiations with Whitbread. Mr Osmond has been especially critical of Allied's conduct after having had his own approach for the pubs rejected just days before news broke last month of the talks with Whitbread.

Punch and other interested parties are also expected to gain access to the confidential information which Whitbread has been able to study, notably details of Allied's supply agreement with Carlsberg-Tetley and the tax implications of any deal. While Whitbread's all-share offer for the pubs would be exempt from capital gains tax, any cash bid from Punch would incur a major liability. Mr Osmond denies that this is an obstacle to a knockout bid.

Punch last week confirmed that Texas Pacific, the US buy-out specialist, had bought a 70 per cent stake in the venture. Texas Pacific is understood to be committed to Punch's interest in Allied's estate. Two other venture capitalists, CVC Capital Partners and Legal & General Ventures, are also thought to be interested in backing Punch.

Victory for Whitbread would force it to dispose of its brewing division. Whitbread would also acquire First Quench, the off-licence chain, and it would become the country's biggest landlord with 7,600 pubs.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy