- A league table of the 500 fastest growing companies in Europe has named Oxfordshire's Hobgoblinns as the number one brewer and pub operator.
The European Commission-backed survey placed the brewer at 37 out of all businesses in Europe because of its 1,842 per cent growth in turnover since being founded in 1992.
A slowdown in consumer spending has been blamed by restaurant group Chez Gerard for a new programme to cut costs.
But the 22-strong chain aims to open another eight outlets by July because it believes the eating out market is still growing.
South African Breweries, the producer of Castle beer, has been admitted into the ranks of the UK's top 100 companies listed on the Stock Exchange.
It transferred share dealings from Johannesburg to London last week, seeing its share price rise to £4.85, earning it a place in the FTSE-100.
Talks are underway for Legal & General Ventures to buy frozen seafood supplier Young's from United Biscuits.
The venture capital group would merge Young's with Bluecrest Seafood, which it bought from Booker last year, to create the UK's largest seafood supplier.
Poland's two biggest brewers, Brewpole and Zyweic, have merged in a deal that gives parent company Heineken more than a third of the country's beer market.
In Bulgaria, the Belgian-based producer of Stella, Interbrew, has grasped control of the Pleven brewery with a majority stake — its fourth brewery in the eastern European country.