Deutsche Bank, owner of Laurel Pub Company, is said to be pondering a sale of the managed house business.
Renewed speculation, reported in the Sunday papers, suggests Deutsche is looking to cash in after Laurel failed in its bid to buy Scottish & Newcastle Retail.
Laurel was beaten to the £2.5bn business Spirit Group.
The German bank formed Laurel went it bought 3,000 tenanted and managed pubs from Whitbread in March 2001. It sold the tenanted arm to Enterprise Inns last year.
Chief executive Ian Payne has faced intermittent rumours about Deutsche Bank's long-term commitment to the business.
A source at laurel told The Mail on Sunday: "Any company backed by private equity is always up for sale if someone comes along with the right sum of money."
The other option is to float on the stock market but it is thought Laurel would need to increase its 600-strong mass for a successful public debut.