Greene King has confirmed it is in advanced talks to buy a portfolio of pubs from the Laurel Pub Company. A statement, released by the company today, confirmed press speculation about the discussions.

The Times reported that Greene King was in talks to buy a package of 430 neighbourhood pubs from the Laurel Pub Co. for around £660 m (US$1.2 bln).

The statement also said that Greene King has no current intention of issuing new equity in connection with the deal. A further announcement will be made in due course, if appropriate, the company said.

The auction for Laurel's 432 neighbourhood pubs closed last Friday, with four bids coming from Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries, Punch Taverns, private equity-owned managed pubs group Spirit and Greene King.