The City believes Botts & Co and Noble House Leisure are set to raise their offer for Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries 50p a share to 550p, reports Sunday Business.

But The Sunday Times says how much more they are prepared to bid will depend on how much Wolves is prepared to open up the group's accounts for due diligence. Wolves will come under serious pressure from shareholders to open negotiations once the bid is raised to £500m. The signs are that shareholders would agree a deal at about this level, although Wolves insists they will back existing management when the company launches a detailed strategy statement and trading update next month.

Sunday Business claims the company is considering the sale or closure of one or more breweries. The Sunday Telegraph claims it has decided to sell the Lion Brewery in Hartlepool and its Mansfield brewery to appease shareholders while The Sunday Times believes the sales are "likely". Speculation suggests Pitcher & Piano could be sold as well as other parts of the business.

Sunday Business says the company could be taken private through a buy-out from finance director Ralph Findlay and sales director Derek Andrew if shareholders insist it is put up for sale.

Sunday Business 27/08/00 page 1, page 4, page 31 (A Week In The Markets)

The Sunday Telegraph 27/08/00 page 2 (Business)

The Sunday Times 27/08/00 page 2 (Business)