City File: Brewing up

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ON THE subject of brewers, Greene King will be able to bid again for Morland come the end of this month. However, the Morland price has risen more than 20 per cent from the 450p a share Greene King offered a year ago, and it looks like the East Anglians may be forced to throw in the towel.

This is not all bad. Greene King has a 29.3 per cent stake in Morland, worth pounds 33.5m. With the Morland shares firm, Greene King could be tempted to place the stake.

This would produce a profit of pounds 6m, which would be fairly welcome as Peter Thompson at Kleinwort Benson thinks Greene King's pre-tax profits, to be announced on Friday, will be as flat as day-old beer at pounds 20.5m.