Greene King, the brewer and pub operator, has reportedly made a £70m bid approach for Loch Fyne, the seafood restaurant business. The chain, headed by Mark Derry, has received a small number of approaches from pub companies interested in acquiring the business, according to The Sunday Times. Talks are said to be at a preliminary stage, with Loch Fyne yet to appoint a financial adviser or to begin formally marketing the company to potential buyers. Pub groups are becoming increasingly interested in buying into the casual dining market. Recent deals include Laurel Pub Company’s acquisition of La Tasca and Ultimate Leisure’s purchase of Bel and the Dragon. About a quarter of sites operated by Loch Fyne, which was spun out of the eponymous Scottish oyster farm, are former pub locations, such as those located in Egham and Twickenham. The chain, which now has 35 outlets, was acquired by Hutton Collins in October 2005 in deal that valued the group at £30m. Both Greene King and Loch Fyne declined to comment.