Pub group and brewer Greene King is close to buying a package of 430 neighbourhood pubs from the Laurel Pub Company.
Greene King today confirmed that it was "in advanced discussions which may or may not lead to a transaction."
The "for sale" sign was hoisted over Laurel's neighbourhood pubs in April. They are now expected to fetch more than £650m.
Any deal would push the number of pubs owned by Greene King above the 2,100 mark.
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