It's being reported that drinks company C&C will walk away from its pursuit of Spirit Pub Company this week.
The maker of Bulmers and Tipperary mineral water is not expected to table the £780 million bid that would likely see off competition from rival Greene King for the Group, which is now expected to bolster its pub stable with the acquisition.
C&C has until tomorrow evening to make a formal bid for Spirit Pub Company, with Spirit already having recommended the Greene King offer.
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The Irish Independent reports that the news will be most likely be welcomed by C&C investors, following the company's shares dropping more than 11 per cent in a day when C&C's initial offer was made public last October.
Analysts have long questioned the rationale for a C&C bid, saying the move would be a significant step-away from its strategy of being a wholesaler rather than running a major pub business.
The report adds that Greene King had apparently sown up a deal for Spirit last October before C&C made their move.