Mitchells & Butlers insists it has not received a formal bid from the R20 consortium led by Robert Tchenguiz.
In a statement to the stock exchange in response to press speculation that it has received a proposal, the UK's biggest managed pub operator said that "in the interests of clarity and transparency it can only properly consider a formal written proposal."
M&B said its position has been "clearly conveyed" to theR20 consortium and so far no written proposal has beenreceived.
The Financial Times reports today that R20 has indicated it could make a cash bid of 550p a share, which would value M&B at around £2.7bn.
M&B said it remains remains "absolutely committed to delivering value for shareholders". The City has speculated that an offer of around 600p a share would be enough to persuade M&B to open its books to Laurel Pub Company owner Mr Tchenguiz.
The Takeover Panel has given R20 a 'put-up-or-shut-up' deadline of May 8 to formally table an offer.