Shares in Spirit Pub Company climbed 6.1% to 90.75p amid speculation that Greene King will soon return with a firm offer for the business of between 115p and 120p a share.

Greene King has until next Wednesday (21 October) to “put up or shut up”, and traders believe the company, in the absence of any obvious counter bidder, may be trying to negotiate an agreed deal with the Spirit board.

Spirit has final results and a strategy update due in for the very next day after the 21 October.

According to The Times, speculation is that Mike Tye, the chief executive of Spirit, will deliver better numbers than even the past few sets, all of which went down well.

Greene King is unlikely to want the deadline imposed on it by the Takeover Panel pushed back further, as better trading may affect the asking price.