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Analysts anxious to avoid bid war

C&C expected to walk away from £780 million Spirit pubs bid

C&CThe Irish cider group C&C, which owns Tennent’s, is expected to abandon its plan to gatecrash Greene King’s bid for Spirit Pub Company.

C&C, headed by former S&N executive Stephen Glancey, has been urged by shareholders to drop its plans ahead of Tuesday’s 5pm deadline to submit an offer.

The City has been on tenterhooks waiting for the group to make a £780 million offer that would top the £773m cash and shares bid from Belhaven owner Greene King.

But analysts are uncertain about C&C’s commitment to building a pubs chain despite Mr Glancey, chief executive, arguing that it would provide a shop window for its range of brands which includes Bulmers and Magners. He has experience of running pubs from his time at S&N

Spirit’s board has already recommended a bid from Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King, which will create a group with 1,110 pubs and restaurants in London and the South East.

C&C revealed plans to gatecrash Greene King’s deal in October when the talk was of a bid in the region of 110p per share. This was just three days after Greene King made a 109.5p offer and forced it to raise its bid to 115p a share.

Analysts are concerned that a bidding war for Spirit would not be in C&C’s interests because of the lack of synergies allowing for savings.

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