Punch Taverns has said that it had ended talks with fellow pub owner Mitchells and Butlers (M&B) on the grounds that any deal would not be in the best interests of the shareholders.

M&B became available for sale earlier in February after it announced a £400 million loss. Whilst Punch looked at the possibility of a merger, it abandoned discussions on 28 March, although said that it may reconsider if other buyers were interested in getting involved as well.

At the beginning of the week M&B announced that it wanted to buy Punch's managed pubs business using private equity.

Punch however has now confirmed that it will not be pursuing any deal with M&B. Punch added that it would be publishing its first-half results on 24 April and that it expected to be in line with market expectations.