Punch Taverns has moved into the drinks distribution business by forming a joint venture with Constellation Brands to own drinks distributor Matthew Clark. Financial Times

Punch, which has 9,300 pubs, and the European arm of the US company will each hold 50% of Matthew Clark, the largest drinks wholesaler and distributor serving the UK pub industry. The business is valued at £120m.

Punch, which replaces Gallaher in the FTSE 100 today, said it expected the investment to be 'immediately earnings-enhancing with further synergy benefits available in due course'.

Punch is this week expected to confirm the sale of about 870 tenanted pubs to Admiral Taverns for an estimated £330m.