Pub group Marston's has rejected an unsolicited takeover bid from US-based private equity firm Platinum Equity as it "significantly undervalues" the business.
Marston's board has unanimously rejected the proposal of 105p per Marston's share following two earlier proposals at 88p and 95p per share in December, both of which were received prior to the Brains transaction, and were also unanimously rejected.
The group said the offer represents a 19% discount to the company's share price at the start of 2020, pre-Covid, and since that time the company has entered a joint venture with Carlsberg and taken over the operation of 156 pubs within the SA Brain estate in Wales.
Platinum is required to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for the company or that it does not intend to make an offer by 5pm on 26 February.
The joint venture with Carlsberg last year valued Marston's at £580m. The group runs six breweries and 1,400 pubs and bars across the UK, including the Pitcher & Piano and Revere brands.
Investors are believed to be betting on a post-pandemic boom in the pub sector with several notable players eying acquisitions. Sky News has reported that former Greene King boss Rooney Anand has raised around £200m to finance a takeover spree.