London & Regional Properties is the front-runner for the sale-and-leaseback of part of the Laurel Pub Company’s estate

Laurel is thought to be looking at proposals from 10 bidders for nearly half the 626-strong portfolio.

Rotch, Topland and a Royal Bank of Scotland-backed investor are also believed to have offered bids of £280m-£320m.

Laurel is believed to be asking for a leaseback of about 20 years.

It confirmed it had received bids but that a sale-and-leaseback was only one option. A flotation was another possibility.

Financial Mail On Sunday 06/10/02 page 9