There are two reasons why Boddington will probably not re-bid at this stage. First, the present climate is hardly conducive to underwriting large cash bids.
Second, Boddington can wait and let its trading performance do the talking. It is a good pub operator, returns from nursing homes have consistently improved, and it is building up an impressive drinks wholesaling operation. Half-year profits should exceed pounds 8m, up from pounds 7.5m last time.
Devenish, largely based in the West Country, has probably had to endure one of the worst summers for many years. Boddington has time on its hands, and its paper looks of decidedly better quality than Devenish's.