Three High Wycombe town centre pubs could be sold if two pub companies decide to merge in a £3 billion deal.

The Antelope, The Three Tuns and The Chiltern Taps have been named among 42 pubs that are recommended for sale ahead of a proposed merger between Stonegate and Ei Group.

The recommendations have been made by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a watchdog that has been investigating the possible deal between the two pub groups.

Together, they operate close to 5,000 pubs across the UK – and if they merge, it would create the largest pub group in Britain.

It has not been confirmed what might happen to the pubs that could be put up for sale – and Stonegate, which owns the Chiltern Taps, and Ei Group, which owns The Antelope and The Three Tuns, have both refused to comment further.

The CMA said the sale of the 42 pubs might be a “suitable remedy” to competition concerns – but assessed whether each of the pubs would be likely to continue in operation after being sold, which it concluded they would.

The watchdog also claims to have seen evidence that there are “several potential suitable purchasers who have expressed an interest” in acquiring the pubs.

More information as we get it.