Whitbread has joined the €1 billion (£680m) bid battle for Irish hotel chain Jurys Inns. Sunday Times

Whitbread, which owns the Premier Travel Inn hotel chain, is keen to find suitable acquisitions in the sector. Other contenders are thought to include private equity firm Permira and Robert Tchenguiz.

When it announcing preliminary results this week, Whitbread, chief executive Alan Parker, is likely to confirm that talks for a £1bn sale of its David Lloyd Leisure division are continuing. It is making financial information available to a limited number of parties, including rival operators Esporta and Next Generation.

Whitbread’s shares have risen 59% over the past year, partly because the City has factored in a revaluation of the company’s real estate.