Punch Taverns, the leased and tenanted pub company, reportedly rebuffed an approach for its c.5,000 pubs from private equity firm TDR Capital prior to its demerger in August. The Times reports that informal talks were held about a possible sale but they failed because of a disagreement over the value of the business, with Punch viewing TDR’s offer as too low. The newspaper quotes a source close to one of the parties as saying: “The message was that if TDR wanted to buy Punch, it would be free to launch a bid after the demerger.” It represents the first sign of private equity interest in the tenanted pub sector since the smoking ban, The Times pointed out.