Embattled pub company Eldridge Pope confirmed today that it is in talks with entrepreneur Michael Cannon that could lead to a takeover of the business.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, the company said it was in discussions with Cannon's company SDA that "may lead to a recommended offer being made".
In May Cannon bought 1.5 million shares in the company, taking his stake to 22.34%, in the process fuelling speculation that he was close to bidding for the company.
He failed in a bid to take control of the company in August last year, at the time garnering only 2% of shareholder support for a 165p-per-share offer.
But the company has been struggling of late, making a takeover a much more attractive proposition for shareholders.
In May it reported half-year figures, to April, showing a loss before tax and exceptional items of £909,000, compared with a loss of £69,000 at the same point the year before, although the 2003 figure included a £458,000 profit from five additional trading days.
by Nic Paton
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