Greene King has made a 625 pence per share offer for Belhaven, valuing the company at £187m. The deal represents a premium of 15.6% to Belhaven's closing price on Friday. Greene King will raise £47m through a share placing to help fund the deal. Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King, said: "It is a unique opportunity for us to gain immediate scale in the important Scottish market. "The offer is consistent with our strategy to deliver shareholder value by augmenting our organic growth with selective acquisitions that improve the overall quality of the group." A move on Belhaven was widely anticipated by industry commentators, although Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries had been picked as the most likely bidder. The timing was also unexpected with many forecasting that any deal would wait until Scotland’s smoking ban came into effect in 2006. The smoking ban’s risk to trading within Belhaven’s wet-led estate was seen as likely to give a bidder pause. Greene King said that it expected to see synergies of approximately £3m in the first full year of ownership, rising to approximately £5m over the following two-year period. Belhaven’s directors said they intended to unanimously recommend that the company’s shareholders accept the offer. Stuart Ross, chief executive of Belhaven, said: "We believe that Greene King is the ideal partner for Belhaven. It is a hand in glove fit."