Botanic Inns of Belfast has pulled out of talks to buy the Dublin-based pubco Thomas Read and its 14-strong estate.

Botanic said that neither company could agree a price. Jas Mooney, the managing director of Botanic Inns, said: "We felt we could get better value elsewhere. Nobody wants to overpay, especially in what is an uncertain time for both the UK and Irish economies."

The acquisition of Thomas Read would have doubled Botanic's estate, and allowed it to move south of the border.