Joe Lewis pulls takeover offer for troubled M&B

MAVERICK investor Joe Lewis withdrew his offer for pub chain Mitchells & Butlers yesterday, blaming poor trading and higher risk in the business.

Lewis’s investment vehicle Piedmont, M&B’s biggest investor, said it had dropped the informal 230p-per-share bid to buy the company at below its market value.

“After careful consideration, Piedmont has decided not to proceed with an offer for M&B,” it said in a statement. A spokesman added: “Since we made our proposal, economic conditions have deteriorated, market volatility has increased and M&B’s trading statement suggested further weakness.”

M&B’s interim chairman Bob Ivell said the board would “continue to focus on our growth strategy”. Shares in M&B, which owns All Bar One and Harvester, fell 6.9 per cent to 235p.