Shares in Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) edged up yesterday by 1.5p to close at 229.8p on the back of rumours that the managed pub operator could receive a takeover bid from Whitbread at 380p a share. Analyst said that an acquisition of M&B would provide Whitbread’s underperforming pub-restaurant business, which includes the Brewers Fayre and Beefeater chains, scale benefits. However, analysts also added that such a deal might not fit with investors’ view of the Premier Inn and Costa Coffee operator as a growth stock.