Mitchells & Butlers is expected to refocus its efforts on seeking a permanent CEO after the collapse of a takeover approach by Piedmont.

Mitchells & Butlers' interim CEO, Jeremy Blood, is reported to have told the board of his wish to stand down. The reports follow the breakdown of takeover interest from Piedmont, the finance vehicle run by Joe Lewis that already owns 22.8% of Mitchells & Butlers (M&B). 

just-drinks understands from a source familiar with the situation that Blood, who took the CEO post in March, was always considered by both parties to be an interim appointment. M&B is on the lookout for a permanent CEO.

Piedmont's decision not to proceed with a takeover approach came amid disquiet within the M&B boardroom at the probable offer price, cited by Piedmont as GBP2.3 (US$3.6) per share. "The independent directors have been consistent in their view that an offer of GBP2.3 would substantially undervalue the company," said M&B's interim chairman, Bob Ivell.

"We will continue to focus on our growth strategy for developing M&B further as the UK's leading operator of restaurants and managed pubs creating value for all shareholders," he said. In the first half of its fiscal year, M&B reported sales up by 4%, to GBP912m, with food overtaking drinks sales for the first time.