Heineken has made an approach to buy Punch Taverns, according to reports.
According to Sky News the brewer has made a bid to rival one already tabled by Alan McIntosh, who was one of the Punch Taverns' founders.
It is understood that McIntosh has made an offer of 185p-a-share through his investment vehicle Emerald.
Heineken confirmed that it was in discussions with Punch Taverns with an offer of 174p per share being considered.
Punch Taverns comprises 3,300 sites, while Heineken operates 1,100 bars under its Star Pubs & Bars division.