UK pub operator, Pubmaster, has announced that its chief executive, John Sands, is to take over as chairman with effect from March, with current chairman, John Brackenbury, stepping down to take the newly-created role non-executive deputy chairman. With Pubmaster poised to complete a deal to buy 1,200 tenanted pubs from Nomura, Sands will have particular responsibility for pub acquisitions while Brackenbury will focus on industry matters. Pubmaster said it hopes to finalise the £500 million purchase of Inn Partnerships from Nomura by the end of January. If successful, it would give the company 3,200 pubs, making it the UK's fourth-largest pub operator.