Japanese bank Nomura will begin scrutinising the books of Wolverhampton & Dudley breweries as it considers whether to bid for the group, The Financial Times reports. Nomura has declined to comment on the news.
It is believed that NM Rothchild, Wolves’ investment bank, approached Nomura last week about launching a possible bid.
The newspaper reports that Guy Hands, head of Nomura’s principle finance group, has agreed to look into Wolves' financial information but has not yet decided whether to bid.
If it decides to go ahead, Nomura will bid against entrepreneur Robert Breare, who has been looking to acquire the brewer for over six months, and a management buy-out team, which is believed to have the backing of Royal Bank of Scotland. Another contender for the group is believed to be Hugh Osborne, head of Punch Taverns.
However, an offer from Nomura could face competition laws since it has become Britain’s biggest pub landlord with 1,700 pubs. It is finalising a deal to acquire 1,000 pubs from Bass and is in the running for another 3,000 pubs being sold by Whitbread.
Wolves on Friday extended its bid deadline to April 20 after complaints from Breare that the previous deadline of April 5 was too early.