City File: Buoyant brew

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The Independent Online
LAST Friday, Greene King achieved the brewing equivalent of missing an open goal when the East Anglian brewer failed in a pounds 100m bid for its rival Morland. Greene King started the bid with support from Whitbread Investment Trust (a holder of 43.5 per cent) but managed to gain only 1.5 per cent more acceptances in two months.

On Friday, Greene King shares lost 8 per cent of their value and closed the week at 467p. But the market reaction may be overdone. Forecasts are that Greene King's taxable profits, to be declared on Tuesday, will be down a mere pounds 1m at pounds 21m for the year to April.

Anything better and the shares will bounce quickly. They're likely to bounce in any case, when recovery hits Greene King's heartland in London and the South-east where it has good pubs - and good brands.

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