Last orders for W&D

Pubmaster has until midnight tonight to clinch a deal for Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries or back off, having earlier seen off a rival bid from private equity firm Botts & Co.

Pub operator Pubmaster has until midnight tonight to cut a deal for Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries (W&D).

After Pubmaster’s indicative offer of between 500p and 520p a share was rejected by the W&D board in April, it was given until the end of today by the Takeover Panel to clinch the acquisition.

Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries also rejected a bid from Botts & Co-backed entrepreneur Robert Breare of 500p a share. The W&D board said that it could not have put the offers to shareholders. They had been indicative and had a large number of conditions attached, it said. Instead, the board made clear its intention to implement its own business plan.

Pubmaster is financed by West LB, which has a 25 per cent stake in Pubmaster, made a rival offer. Its indicative offer valued W&D at more than £472m.

W&D’s shares stand at 457.5p, which gives it a valuation of about £432m.

Pubmaster has been competing for W&D since October, when the company was put up for sale after a profits warning and poor stock market performance.

W&D is being advised by NM Rothschild.