Punch vows to trump Whitbread's Allied deal

PUNCH TAVERNS, the pubs group led by Hugh Osmond, yesterday intervened to spoil Allied Domecq's pounds 2.42bn agreed sale of 3,500 pubs to Whitbread, claiming it was confident it could trump the offer.

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.

They're not only here for the beer

Brewing has become increasingly small beer to Whitbread. Now, as it circles Allied Domecq, it may stop brewing after 250 years.

Allied agrees to pounds 20m failure fee

ALLIED DOMECQ, in talks to sell its pubs estate to Whitbread, is understood to have agreed to pay a pounds 20m penalty fee should the pounds 2.3bn deal fail.

US cash heats up pub war

Punch to enlist American muscle in fight for 3,600 Allied inns

Punch set to trump Whitbread pounds 2.5bn offer

PUNCH Taverns, the privately owned pub group, is understood to be preparing a bid to trump Whitbread's pounds 2.5bn offer for Allied Domecq's pub estate.

Punch could upset Allied pubs deal

PUNCH TAVERNS, the privately owned pub operator is considering appealing direct to Allied Domecq's shareholders in an attempt to muscle in on the group's plans to sell its pubs to Whitbread for pounds 2.5bn.

The Poor List would make most unedifying reading

EVER SINCE the Greeks met in the forum to mutter about the wealth of Croesus, and Petronius satirised the table manners and conspicuous consumption of the Roman nouveau riche in the Satyrikon, wealth has been a spectator sport. Why else should we care who is on the newly published 1999 rich list, unless we are in the irksome position of the Queen, who has fallen from number one in 1989 to a mere equal 87th with a bookmaker and a property developer; or the more enviable one of the man running a hotly traded software company at the age of 23?

Boxing: First Night Jane Couch - Women face an even bigger fight

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Racing: Punch finds Jezabeel is no Judy

THEY TRAVELLED more than 10,000 miles to run in Australia's most famous race, but in the end it was just a few yards which made all the difference. Three of the five British-trained runners in the Melbourne Cup came within a couple of lengths of victory, but neither could find a finishing kick to beat either Jezabeel or Champagne, both of them mares who had made a much shorter trip from New Zealand.

Racing: Melody stays in tune for historic run

TAUFAN'S MELODY looks primed to complete a historic big-race double by adding tomorrow's Melbourne Cup to his Caulfield Cup success two weeks ago.

You should see it on a Friday night

What kind of people would you expect to see on a typical street corner of Britain such as this one? Shoppers, schoolchildren and pensioners by day, certainly. But after dark, the pubs empty and then the fighting starts. By Darius Sanai

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Jessica Berens has clearly made every effort to write a funny book, and the effort shows. The Highwaymen (Hutchinson, pounds 10) are three bikers who implausibly make national headlines by relieving members of the public of their valuables on the byways of Dorset. Young Rupert, who rides a "Honda a hundred", joins forces with them to raise the money to send his alcoholic, machine-gun-toting mum to an upmarket drying-out clinic.
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