Spirit Pub Company has said Greene King’s 100p-per-share offer for the firm “undervalued” the group, with Spirit’s board saying it “remains fully confident in the ongoing execution of Spirit’s strategy as an independent company”.

Spirit also said there can be “no certainty” that any offer will be made, nor as to the terms of any offer.

Earlier this afternoon Greene King confirmed a report in the Financial Times that it had approached the board of Spirit about a potential “combination” of the two groups.

Spirit has now confirmed the FT story that Greene King offered 100p per share.

“The board reviewed the proposal in detail and concluded that it undervalued Spirit and its attractive prospects. Accordingly, the proposal was rejected on 18 September 2014,” said Spirit.

The FT said an offer was subsequently made of 110p. Spirit has not commented on this.

The statement from Spirit continued: “As announced on 3 September 2014 in the fourth quarter trading update, Spirit continues to deliver strong performance across both the Managed and Leased estates with market leading like-for-like growth and attractive returns on investment.

“Spirit has a successful strategy of delivering growth through investment in its brands, people, infrastructure and estate, including the acquisition of new pubs. The board remains fully confident in the ongoing execution of Spirit’s strategy as an independent company and that its successful delivery and strong balance sheet will create significant value for shareholders.”

It added: “This statement is being made by Spirit without the prior agreement or approval of Greene King. There can be no certainty that any offer will be made nor as to the terms of any offer. Shareholders are strongly advised to take no action.”

The Financial Times has today put the cost of such a deal at £700m.