Stonegate Pub Company is to absorb Ei Group’s pubs into its own estate, if its £3bn takeover bid is approved.

Up until now, Stonegate has had entirely managed pubs. It will now create new divisions for Ei’s leased and tenanted pubs, and its commercial property business.

Stonegate chief executive, Simon Longbottom, told the Propel industry website: “[Ei] changed its strategy in 2015 and we’ve watched its progress with interest since, especially the success it has had with its managed estate, which it has been growing steadily and developing, including through the joint-venture model.

“We are darn good at buying businesses and investing in them, and this is an exciting opportunity for us, both in terms of the 4,000 sites and the people being brought into the business.”

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