Spirit Pub Company has announced it has rejected an approach from C&C Group, the drinks group behind Magners

The drinks group behind Magners is understood to have made an approach for Spirit offering a higher price than rival suitor Greene King, which would value the Chef & Brewer operator at £760m.

The Times said that C&C was willing to offer about 115p a share for Spirit, of which at least a third would be in cash.

However, Spirit has announced that it has reviewed and rejected C&C’s approach, leaving the drinks group until 20 November to make a further offer.

Earlier this week, Spirit said it was willing to recommend a revised takeover offer from Greene King of approximately 109.5p, which values the company at c£723.5m. However, of that 109.5p-a-share, only 8p is cash.

Spirit will now have to weigh up the higher bid from C&C, which currently has no pub estate, against the synergies expected from a takeover with Greene King.

It was thought that Greene King had a clear path to completing the acquisition of Spirit, with chief executive Rooney Anand thought to be determined to complete a deal after missing out to Mitchells & Butlers earlier this year for the majority of the Orchid estate.

Yesterday, Spirit reported a 4% increase in EBITDA to £159m, with pre-tax profits up 8% to £60m for the year to August 23.

Like-for-like sales in its managed pub division climbed 4%, while its leased pubs division saw a 4.2% increase in net income per pub on a like-for-like basis.

Chief executive Mike Tye said: “Looking to the future, the business is well positioned for further progressive growth, both organically from our existing portfolio and through acquisitions.  We see significant opportunity to roll out our successful brands and currently have £75m to fund expansion.”