The JD Wetherspoon share price surged l11.6% to 280p last week among a flurry of bid rumours. That values the company, whose chairman is Tim Martin, at £525m. Agenda business editor William Lewis says Wetherspoon beer prices are so cheap that whoever takes over will be able to push them up a bit without anybody noticing. He suggests Tim Clarke, chief executive of Mitchells&Butler, could be interested. The only drawback is that Wetherspoons is a leasehold operation, which would be expensive to have on M&B's books. The Sunday Times 06/02/05 (Business) page 3.4