The non-executive chairman of UK pub operator, Eldridge Pope & Co., Christopher Pope, has stepped down from his position because of ill health. However, he is to remain a non-executive director.

The company's most senior non-executive director, Robert Colvill, is to take on the role of acting non-executive chairman with immediate effect.

Pope's departure is the second senior personnel change at the company, which has attracted interest as a takeover target for some time, in the last six months. In June, the pub operator parted company with its chief executive officer, Mike Johnson.