'Kids allowed to buy cigarettes in pubs'

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Related tags: Black horse, Stock market, Mitchells & butlers

Pub landlords let kids as young as 14 buy cigarettes from vending machines, a shock People investigation has discovered. Staff at the Black Horse in...

Pub landlords let kids as young as 14 buy cigarettes from vending machines, a shock People​ investigation has discovered. Staff at the Black Horse in Locks Bottom, Kent, did not raise an eyebrow yesterday as 14-year-old Zak Suffing-Noir slotted in £6.20. The new minimum age for buying fags is 18. The Black Horse belongs to the Ember Inns group, which prides itself on being a chain of family-orientated pubs. A spokesman for parent company Mitchells & Butlers said: "There are clear signs on our machines. Our pub teams are as vigilant as they can be." - Sunday People

In just 18 months, the roll-call of investors in Mitchells & Butlers has moved from old school institutions to new boy hedge funds in one of the biggest shifts any company on the London Stock Exchange has seen. Long-term value builders have been replaced by short-term speculators betting on a windfall from the sale of the pub group's £5bn property portfolio, being pushed by entrepreneur Robert Tchenguiz. - Sunday Telegraph

One of the Mitchells & Butlers' (M&B) institutional shareholders is to write to directors questioning M&B's strategy of putting its property in a separately listed real estate investment trust, saddling the company with a huge rent bill. The pubco announced its plans last week. The shareholder, who asked not to be named, is concerned that the board is bowing to pressure from property entrepreneur Robert Tchenguiz and hedge funds with holdings in the company, rather than listening to all shareholders. "We have to make sure management do not just respond to those who shout loudest," the shareholder said. - Sunday Telegraph

Does Guinness Peat have ambitions to become part of the Adnams family? The shareholder group recently took its stake in the Suffolk brewer to 8.5 per cent, but Adnams chairman Jonathan Adnams dismisses talk of consolidation. "I think if you look at their website, you get an idea of where their interest lies," he says. "We have had a small amount of dialogue. Our mantra and creed is well known to all, and we have huge shareholder support to run the sustainable model." - Independent On Sunday

Related topics: Health & safety

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