London brewer and pub operator Fuller's has offered £91.8m for Hampshire-based rival George Gale and Company.
Family-owned Gales was founded in 1847 and operates a 111-strong pub estate in the south and south-east of England.
The portfolio includes 69 tenanted and 42 managed pubs of which 97 are freeholds and five are managed on behalf of Premier Pubs Estate.
Michael Turner, chief executive at Fuller's, said: "The board has identified Gales as a core acquisition target for Fuller's as it believes that a combination of these two highly regarded, geographically complementary regional operators will deliver improved shareholder value."
Fuller's itself has 242 managed or tenanted pubs and eight hotels across the south-east of the country, of which 203 are freehold premises.
It is not yet known whether the Gales brewery in Horndean, Hampshire, will be transferred to Fuller's Griffin Brewery in Chiswick.
Gales reported pre-tax profit of £4.3m on a £39.4m turnover in the year to 29 January 2005.
By Angela Frewin
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