The secret to dealmaking in the Square Mile, any seasoned exec will tell you, is a glass of claret and a good juicy steak.

That was certainly the case for Clive Watson, the former CEO of City Pub Group (does what it says on the tin). Last year, Simon Dodds, CEO at rival’s Young’s invited him to lunch at Smiths, the posh eatery at the top of Smithfield market. Over wine and sirloins, Dodds fawned over his pub chain rival.

“We did the usual, how’s your life, a bit of football chat, did you watch the rugby,” Watson told Spy. “But after an hour of this stuff, he suddenly turned and said…Clive I want to buy your business.”

The Evening Standard. To read the full story click here