Shares in Mitchells & Butlers and Punch Taverns rose on Monday on rumours that the companies were planning a move on Spirit Group. Punch closed at 833p, a rise of 15.5p, or 1.9%. M&B finished trading at 389.75p, up 16.75p, or 4.5%. Chief executives Tim Clarke and Giles Thorley are reported to have been holding detailed talks which are described as "fluid". City regulators are expected to ask both companies to clarify their intentions to the stock market.