According to a report in the Financial Times, the Russian billionaires, Simon and David Reuben, have emerged as late bidders for the Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) pub estate, valued at around £2.3 billion.

Some nine bidders were already thought to be interested in the pub estate including Spirit Group, Texas Pacific Group, Mitchell & Butlers, Laurel Pub Company, Pubmaster and Terra Firma.

The Reubens, who made their fortunes in the alluminium business in the 1990s, recently made an audacious bid to acquire the prestigious London department store, Selfridges.