Punch increases Allied pubs offer to pounds 2.925bn

THE BOARD of Allied Domecq was last night locked in a meeting to decide whether to accept yesterday's increased pounds 2.925bn cash offer from Punch Taverns for its 3,600 pubs, or to honour its exclusivity agreement with Whitbread and accept its rival pounds 2.877bn cash and paper offer.

The latest Punch offer includes the unusual sweetener of giving Allied shareholders the option of choosing to take shares in Bass instead of cash. A maximum of 79 million Bass shares will be made available.

The market responded positively to the Punch offer, backed by Bass which has agreed to buy 650 pubs from Punch if it wins the deal. Bass shares closed up 22.5p at 963p, Whitbread was down 16p at 985p and Allied moved up 4p at 624p as analysts said the Punch deal appeared to offer better value. One said: "The Punch bid is worth slightly more than the Whitbread bid. Furthermore, the Punch bid is unconditional of shareholder approval and clearance by the Office of Fair Trading." Both sides spent yesterday claiming that their bid offered the greatest certainty for shareholders.

Punch said the timetable of its deal, which would conclude on 30 September, would not break the exclusivity agreement Allied signed with Whitbread. Hugh Osmond, Punch's chief executive, emphasised that the deal was unconditional. He said: "Our offer is significantly higher value than the Whitbread offer and it is significantly more certain."

The Whitbread camp countered with the accusation that the Punch offer was merely a front for Bass to expand and claimed the extended timetable meant months of uncertainty for shareholders.

David Thomas, chief executive of Whitbread, said: "Our confidence has risen somewhat now we've seen the whites of their eyes. Bass is with Punch as a puppet and a frontman. The offer tabled today has a great deal of uncertainty in it. Punch would be unable to step into Whitbread's shoes until 30 September but we can do it by 2 August."

Mr Thomas added that should the Allied board recommend Punch's offer to shareholders the battle was far from over, as Allied shareholders have until the end of the month to make up their minds.

"We will be asserting our case very vigorously to Allied Domecq shareholders over the next three weeks," he said.

Whitbread made it clear that it would not raise the stakes further but Punch indicated that although the current bid expired at midnight it was not necessarily its highest offer. Mr Osmond said: "Ours is an offer which can only go up, theirs can go down as well as up."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower