Mitchells & Butlers suitor calls off takeover bid

man drinking beer
Image caption Mitchells & Butler has sold some of its drinks-led pubs

Billionaire investor Joe Lewis has ended plans to buy pubs and restaurant group Mitchells & Butlers (M&B).

His investment firm, Piedmont, said it was now concerned by "weakness" in M&B's trading in the face of worsening economic conditions.

Piedmont, which owns 23% of M&B, had an offer of 224 pence a share rejected in August.

It said earlier this month that it was considering increasing this to 230p, which M&B again said it would reject.

M&B, which owns the All Bar One and Harvester chains, said both offers significantly undervalued the group.

It has yet to comment on Piedmont's ending takeover proceedings.

Shares in M&B were down more than 8% following Piedmont's announcement.

Bahamas-based Mr Lewis, who first bought into M&B back in 2008, has overseen a boardroom shake-up, which saw three board members leave last year. Two of the five-man board are now Piedmont appointees.

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