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Grogan calls for resolution to M&B investor row

From The Publican

By Hamish Champ , 18-Jan-2010

John Grogan, Labour MP and chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, has called for certain Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) shareholders to 'put up or shut up' as a row over direction of the company rumbles on.


Grogan told the company's management should be allowed to get on with the job of running its pub estate, rather than having to fend off the attentions of certain investors.


"M&B is the largest managed pubco in the country with 40,000 staff and it is not immune to the pressures the pub sector is facing and management should be able to focus on the business. There are also 60,000 small shareholders to consider," he said.


"If there are alternatives to the current management they should come out into the open and table a bid for the company."


Grogan is this week tabling an Early Day Motion over the situation between M&B and a number of minority shareholders including Joe Lewis' Piedmont Inc..


Last week the Takeover Panel threw out claims by M&B that certain shareholders were acting in concert to take control of the group's board to the detriment of other investors.


Vince Cable, the LibDem economic spokesman, has meanwhile written to the Financial Services Authority to get the investigation into the company's claims looked at again.


Grogan's EDM:


"That this House notes with great concern the apparent threat to the interests of the 60,000 small shareholders of the long-established pub company Mitchells and Butlers, where a small group of friends and minority shareholders domiciled outside the UK appear to be seeking to gain control of the Company to advance their own interests at the expense of others; further notes the uncertainty this is generating for the firm's 40,000 staff, and urges the Government to be alert to any infringements of takeover rules and to urge the Takeover Panel rapidly to complete a thorough and detailed investigation of the relevant facts in the case."

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