M&B confirms sale of Tchenguiz's 25% stake

08 October 2008 by
M&B confirms sale of Tchenguiz's 25% stake

Mitchells & Butlers has confirmed that Robert Tchenguiz, its largest shareholder, has sold his 25% stake in the pub group to billionaire investor Joe Lewis.

Lewis, a Bahamas-based tax exile with investments in companies including Ladbrokes and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, has bought 88 million shares giving him 21.77% share in Mitchells & Butlers. As part of the disposal, Tchenguiz's representatives Araon Brown and Tim Smalley have stepped down from the pub group's board.

A spokesman for Joe Lewis said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to make a significant investment in M&B."

The move has been highlighted as latest illustration of how the financial crisis in Iceland is having far-reaching repercussions for UK companies.

Although the stake is understood to belong to Tchenguiz, the actual seller was Iceland's Kaupthing, which was holding the shares as collateral on a loan it gave to the property tycoon in July.

Unable to repay the loan, Tchenguiz was forced to liquidate his position to raise money last night.

The sale of the stake brings to an end Tchenguiz's attempts to use his holding to unlock value from M&B's underlying assets.

The group lost senior directors and £274m in a botched hedge fund for a property joint-venture proposed by Tchenguiz earlier this year.

Tchenguiz sells his 25% stake in Mitchells & Butlers >>

Mitchells & Butlers chairman steps down >>

Board at Mitchells & Butlers under fire after £274m loss >>

Mitchells & Butlers and Punch Taverns fall out of FTSE 100 >>

Mitchells & Butlers confirms Tchenguiz joint venture >>

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce here.

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