Whitbread closed up 41p at 1688p on Friday on post-Christmas bid hopes. Starwood Capital is rumoured to have added to its near 3% stake and is thought to be lining up a £4bn offer. Apax Partners is expected to counter-bid The Independent recommends buying the shares, noting that the streamlined business has been performing well. Daily Mail 16/12/06 page 82 (Market Report) The Independent (save&spend) 16/12/06 page 8