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Online fashion retailer Asos has turned to Marks & Spencer for again by hiring former finance director Ian Dyson.

Allied board in talks with Punch

ALLIED DOMECQ, the drinks group, finally agreed to start talks with Punch Taverns yesterday regarding the sale of its pub estate following Whitbread's withdrawal from the fight.

Whitbread abandons Allied bid

WHITBREAD YESTERDAY withdrew its bitterly-contested bid for the 3,600 strong Allied Domecq pub estate, leaving the way clear for Punch Taverns to win the battle.

Blow to Whitbread as DTI refers Allied bid

WHITBREAD'S pounds 2.8BN bid for Allied Domecq's pub estate suffered a potentially fatal setback yesterday when the Department of Trade and Industry referred the deal to the Competition Commission.

Punch may sweeten offer for Allied Domecq pubs

THE CITY believes Punch Taverns will sweeten its pounds 2.925bn cash bid for the 3,600-strong Allied Domecq's pub estate at the eleventh hour.

Punch sets pub quiz for Whitbread board

HUGH OSMOND, the 36-year-old entrepreneur leading Punch Tavern's bid for Allied Domecq's 3,500 pubs, fired off 10 questions at rival bidders Whitbread yesterday. Mr Osmond is angry following the Allied board's decision last week to recommend Whitbread's cash-and-shares bid of pounds 2.874bn, lower than Punch's all-cash bid.

The Investment Column: Budgens

BUDGENS HAS an image problem. The City thinks its dull and too small to be worth taking an interest in. Admittedly, it doesn't have the likes of Punch Taverns' Hugh Osmond at its helm and you won't see its German chief executive, John von Spreckelsen, launching any pounds 3bn bids in the retail sector this year. But there are some similarities between the two.

Punch makes a `refreshed' bid for Allied Domecq pubs

PUNCH TAVERNS yesterday made a new pounds 2,925bn offer for the 3,600 Allied Domecq pub estate and said it would address every issue the Allied board had raised when it decided to back the lower Whitbread offer.

Allied spurns Punch to back Whitbread offer

THE BOARD of Allied Domecq yesterday backed Whitbread's pounds 2.877bn bid for its 3,600 pub estate in preference to the pounds 2.925bn rival offer from Punch Taverns .

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.

Investors turn to drink and retail therapy

Stock Market Week

Whitbread strikes back at Punch `vandal' gibe

ALLIED DOMECQ will today decide whether to recommend Punch Taverns' raised pounds 2.875bn cash offer for its pub estate after Whitbread yesterday sought to bolster its share price to support its recommended cash and shares bid worth pounds 2.83bn. Punch's offer expires at midnight.

Allied shifts towards Punch bid

PHILIP BOWMAN, Allied Domecq's acting chief executive, is under mounting pressure from other directors of the drinks company to accept Punch Taverns' cash offer for its pub estate.

Whitbread ups bid for Allied

WHITBREAD RETURNED to the offensive in the battle for Allied Domecq's pubs and off-licences yesterday when it tabled a pounds 2.877bn offer to top a pounds 2.85bn bid from Punch Taverns.

Whitbread plans to trump Punch's Allied offer

WHITBREAD YESTERDAY launched an attempt to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the battle for Allied Domecq's retail business when it said it was considering a higher offer to trump Punch Taverns' pounds 2.85bn bid.

Outlook: Allied and Whitbread

THEY THINK it's all over. Well apparently it isn't. Stung and angered by the artillery fire of press brick bats, Whitbread last night promised it was coming back for more in its battle for Allied Domecq's pubs. It's always hard to admit defeat; all puffed up and seething with irritation at being outmanoeuvred by the fleet of foot Punch Taverns, Whitbread seems determined not to.
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