Pub group Marston's has confirmed it has received a takeover bid from US-based private equity firm Platinum Equity.
The brewer said it had received an unsolicited proposal from the firm regarding a possible cash offer for the entire share capital of the business.
Speculation around a possible buyout had been growing following a Bloomberg report this morning (29 January), which saw Marston's share price jump as high as 30%.
Marston's said it will evaluate the bid with its advisers and make a further announcement "in due course".
"There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made for the company, nor as to the terms on which any firm offer might be made," Marston's said
Ninety per cent of Marston's pubs are located outside city centres, making it well-placed to capitalise on the shift to home working.
The group entered a joint venture with Carlsberg last year which valued Marston's at £580m.
Marston's runs six breweries and 1,400 pubs and bars across the UK, including the Pitcher & Piano and Revere brands, and exchanged contracts with Welsh brewer SA Brain to take over the running of 156 pubs in Wales in December.
Investors are believed to be betting on a post-pandemic boom in the pub sector with several notable players eying acquisitions. Sky Newsreported last week that former Greene King boss Rooney Anand has raised around £200m to finance a takeover spree.