Rotch Property Group, which has emerged as a preferred bidder for Laurel Pub Company, still faces competition from two other bidders because it has not secured exclusivity on negotiating a deal. GI Partners and a consortium led by Nomura and St James Capital are the other potential bidders. Laurel chief executive Ian Payne said the management team would receive about £6m for their equity in the sale. It is rumoured that Rotch might also be interested in bidding for Regent Inns but Regent said no discussions had been held with the Robert Tchenguiz’s vehicle. Regent rose 3p to 48.5p. Financial Times (Money & Business) 27/11/04 page 2