The Laurel Pub Company will announce who has won the battle for its 432-strong neighbourhood pub estate towards the end of this week. Sources close to the deal confirmed the company had received four bids by last Friday's deadline (2 July).
Management are now locked in discussions over the best deal for its portfolio, which is valued at £450m.
Media reports have linked Wolverhampton & Dudley, Punch Taverns, Mitchells & Butlers and Greene King to the deal, but Laurel declined to comment.
The company put its neighbourhood pub portfolio up for sale in April to concentrate efforts on the fiercely competitive high-street market. If the deal is successful it will be left with 177 pubs and bars, headed by its Hog's Head chain.