Sparks to fly at Mitchells & Butlers annual meeting

THE BOARDROOM drama continues at pub group Mitchells & Butlers this week, with all five directors up for re-election at its AGM in Birmingham on Thursday.

The AGM follows renewed criticism of the board by Pirc and the Association of British Insurers, which last week raised concerns that M&B is the only FTSE 350 firm with no independent non-executive directors, as required under corporate governance guidelines. Non-executive directors Douglas McMahon and Ron Robson are representatives of Piedmont, the vehicle owned by Joe Lewis that has a 25.6 per cent stake in the company and last September launched an aborted takeover for the company.

Pirc has advised shareholders not to re-elect the two directors, who are joined on the M&B board by executive chairman Bob Ivell, finance director Tim Jones and company secretary Doug Evans. Ivell has been leading the search for a new chief executive to replace Jeremy Blood, who left in October, as well as two additional independent non-executive directors.

A list of candidates has now been drawn up, with an announcement to follow the AGM.

A spokesperson for the pub group said it did not anticipate any “excitement”, with the firm’s board expected to remain unchanged.