Fuller's has until 1 August to make a firm offer for Capital Pub Company or rule itself out of a bid.
It emerged last month that Fuller's had made an informal offer of £54m (200p per share) for Capital, but that Capital had rejected the bid and declined to enter into discussions. Capital's chief executive Clive Watson said the offer "seriously undervalued" its pubs.
Now the Takeover Panel Executive has ruled that Fuller's must "put up or shut up" by the end of this month.
By Neil Gerrard
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