Punch Taverns' board has confirmed that it has received rival bids to purchase the company, both from Heineken and from Punch's founder Alan McIntosh.
Patron Capital Advisers has issued a cash offer for the business, at 174p per share. As part of the proposal, following the completion of the deal, Heineken would acquire Punch A (one of two securitisation structures within the Punch group).
McIntosh, however, under his investment business Emerald Investment Partners, has launched a higher rival bid at 185p per share.
Though the Emerald offer is higher, Punch confirmed that 'advanced discussions' between its board, Patron and Heineken were already underway.
Punch added that although the board was also in discussion with Emerald, its proposal was conditional upon arranging committed financing, and confirmatory due diligence.
Both Emerald, and Patron and Heineken have until 5pm on 11 January to announce a firm offer, or indeed announce if no offer will be made.