The man behind the Pizza Express empire has confirmed plans for a takeover of house builder Crest Nicholson.
Hugh Osmond, who also owns Punch Taverns, has made an approach which is believed to value the firm at around £350 million.
The tycoon's Horizon vehicle has plenty of capital after raising more than £400m in a stock market listing earlier this year.
Crest Nicholson is owned by Lloyds, after writing off debt of £630m by giving the bank a 90% stake in the business.
The house builder constructs around 2,000 homes a year.
If the Horizon takeover were to go ahead, it would be the first big house building deal since the recession. The speculation led to increases in other house builder shares yesterday.