Stephen Stone was coy about the details of Horizon's takeover approach, but talking to him this morning he could not suppress his good mood

Stephen Stone was not giving much away this morning when asked about the reported £350m-plus bid for Crest Nicholson by pizza and pub entrepreneur Hugh Osmond.

Osmond’s listed Horizon vehicle is on the hunt for a deal after raising £420m earlier this year and the housebuilding sector has clearly caught his eye.

There has been no significant deal activity since Barratt and Taylor Wimpey got their fingers so badly pre-credit crunch and many have hurried to say this could be the start of a new bout of consolidation as the market begins its uptick.