Punch Taverns, which has been the subject of private equity takeover talk, saw its shares soar yesterday after Numis Securities said the pubs group could unlock £1bn of hidden value in its managed estate — equating to nearly a third of its present valuation. The Times

'Whilst we believe that most pub stocks are at best fully valued, Punch Taverns is the clear exception,' said Numis analyst Richard Carter. He argued that Punch’s leased pubs division deserved to trade on par with Enterprise Inns.

That would leave the managed pubs 'grossly undervalued', he said, at about half the earnings multiple of Mitchells & Butlers.

Punch shares climbed 21p to £12.60.