Laurel Pub Company owner Robert Tchenguiz is planning a £200m bid for high-street rival Yates Group.
The property tycoon is consulting lawyers before tabling a formal bid for the company in the next few weeks. An offer of this value is likely to be too good to refuse for Yates owner GI Partners, which paid £160m last summer to take the company private.
Successful integration of the Yates and Laurel estates would create a high-street operator with 320 sites.
A spokesman for Tchenguiz's investment company R20 declined to comment.
Yates is currently in talks to buy struggling SFI Group, and has tabled a bid valued at between £60m and £75m. Ironically, its main challenger for the company is thought to be Tchenguiz.
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 212 April 2005