Shares in Birmingham-based pubs group Mitchells & Butlers - owner of pub chains All Bar One and Harvester - fell back yesterday following the failure of a takeover attempt by tycoon Robert Tchenguiz.
M&B discovered late on Friday that Mr Tchenguiz had pulled his interest after the company's board snubbed an approach valued at #4.6 billion.
The R20 bid consortium led by the property tycoon had until yesterday to table a full offer in accordance with a "put up or shut up" deadline from the Takeover Panel.
However, R20 said it reserved the right to return with another approach in the next six months if the situation changed.
M&B, headed by chief executive Tim Clarke, acknowledged the withdrawal and repeated earlier claims that it would be better served by its own strategy.
It said: "The board believes that the company has excellent prospects for organic growth and is well placed to take advantage of consolidation opportunities. The priority remains to maximise value for shareholders."
Hopes of a takeover saw M&B shares climb strongly - but yesterday they fell back another two per cent after easing last week on the back of the board's rejection. Mr Tchenguiz and his bid consortium posted a conditional offer for the UK's second biggest pubs operator by market value on Wednesday night.
In an unusual move, M&B posted the letter containing the proposal from Mr Tchenguiz on its website, revealing that the tycoon planned to expand the M&B estate by combining it with the Laurel Pub Company, which includes the Yates's brand and is also owned by Mr Tchenguiz.
As expected, the proposal was priced at 550p and represented a 38 per cent premium on the M&B average share price in the month prior to news of interest.
The offer, which included a number of pre-conditions, valued M&B at around #4.6 billion when the company's debt pile was included.
But M&B, which has its headquarters in Fleet Street, Birmingham, pointed out in its response that it had delivered the fastest like-for-like sales growth in the pubs sector over the past two years, with a further 4.1 per cent increase in the first 29 weeks of this financial year.
It said it had powerful brands and formats serving 80 million meals a year.