Pubmaster makes rival offer for W&D

Its bid for Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries will exceed that of Botts-backed Noble House.

Pubmaster has made a bid for Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries (W&D). It is believed to be worth more than the offer from private equity-backed Noble House.

The size of the bid, made through acquisition vehicle Pubmistress, has not been announced but it is understood to exceed Noble House’s offer of 500p a share, which was announced on Friday and values the beer and pubs group at £472m.

Privately-held Pubmaster has been competing for W&D with Noble House, led by entrepreneur Robert Breare, since October but had not had enough finance to make a bid.

However, it is now set to get backing from investment bank West LB, which has just been released from an exclusivity agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, which began last summer, West LB was barred from providing finance to Pubmaster, in which it has a 35 per cent stake.

Noble House had also discussed financing with West LB, but no deal was made. Noble House secured cash for its offer from private equity company Botts & Co and is being advised by CSFB.

Botts & Co had no comment to make in reaction to Pubmaster’s bid. A spokeswoman said the company was “looking forward to discussions with the board of W&D”.

W&D was put up for sale in October after a profits warning and poor stock market performance and is being advised by NM Rothschild. Its shares stand at 479p.