Spirit Group is likely to include 30-40 pub-restaurants attached to some of its budget hotels in the sale of its Premier Lodge chain. Spirit is believed to have appointed Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns to sell Premier Lodge for about £600m. A sales memorandum is expected to be sent to potential bidders for the 130-strong budget hotel chain in the next fortnight. Permira and Whitbread are likely to be among the bidders. Others could include Accor and De Vere. The Sunday Telegraph (Business) 15/02/04 page 2