Greene King pulls out of Orchid Group sale talks

LONDON Fri May 23, 2014 2:59pm EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - British brewer Greene King (GNK.L) said on Friday it had pulled out of takeover talks with pub operator Orchid Group, which is expected to fetch about 250 million pounds ($421.04 million).

"We have decided to withdraw from the Orchid sale process as the transaction does not meet our strict acquisition criteria," Greene King Chief Executive Rooney Anand said in a statement.

Mitchells & Butlers (MAB.L) and Spirit Pub Co (SPRTC.L) are both still in the running to buy Orchid which operates around 240 pubs, said sources familiar with the process.

Starwood Capital and Colony Capital may also still be in the running, according to one of the sources, who added that final bids were due on Friday.

Orchid is owned by a trust linked to Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE). One of the sources said the company had earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of more than 30 million pounds and was expected to fetch about 250 million pounds in a sale.

Spokespeople for Orchid, Mitchells & Butlers, Spirit, Colony and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. Starwood was not immediately available. ($1 = 0.5938 British Pounds)

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by David Evans, Greg Mahlich)

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