A major investor in Mitchells & Butlers has issued an alert over a failure of corporate governance at the company, as hopes of a reconciliation and an end to its boardroom crisis faded.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI), which represents around 20% of shareholders at the company, said that the company's board and Bahamas-based billionaire Joe Lewis had been unable to reach a compromise.
The news led to the ABI issuing a ‘red top' alert to shareholders. The Financial Times reported that the alert was the "strongest possible" warning about governance concerns.
M&B said that it remained willing to reach an agreement with shareholders.
Piedmont, Joe Lewis' investment vehicle, said it would seek a review of the company and a new plan within 60 days if its resolutions were approved.
It has been pushing for the removal of chairman Simon Laffin, and the installation of four of its nominees as directors.
A total of 23 MPs have now signed an early day motion, highlighting "great concern" that the interests of 60,000 small shareholders in M&B were being threatened by "a small group of friends and minority shareholders domiciled outside the UK".
By Neil Gerrard
E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next pub job here with Caterersearch.com jobs