PUB group Yates, owner of the Yates's Wine Lodge chain, is in takeover talks.

The Bolton-based group confirmed that it was in "preliminary discussions regarding a possible offer."

The group is one of the country's oldest pub operators.

Yates owns 113 Yates's Wine Lodges throughout the country as well as the Ha! Ha! Bar & Canteen chain.

It said a further announcement would be made "as soon as possible."