Sir John Ritblat, the former chairman of British Land, is expected to make a bid for Merchants Inns, the upmarket pub group that went into administration, later this week. The Mail On Sunday suggested that the chain of seven pubs in the Home Counties, that Ritblat used to run in conjunction with Robert Breare, would cost up top £20m. Merchant expanded rapidly but 50% shareholder Breare quit in August following a row and the company collapsed into administration following “unknown” financial liabilities. The Mail on Sunday, Financial Mail, p48