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UK: Eldridge Pope parts company with CEO

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The UK pub operator, Eldridge Pope, has parted company with its chief executive and called off takeover talks.

The Pope family, which controls the company, has rejected a number of takeover approaches, reportedly including bids from regional brewing forces, Wolverhampton & Dudley and Greene King. The bids were thought to fall short of the family shareholder group target price of 250p a share. There was also some speculation regarding a management buyout which has not materialised.

Eldridge Pope's CEO, Mike Johnson, who joined the company from Whitbread 22 months ago, has been replaced by the company's former finance director, Susan Barratt.

Chairman, Christopher Pope, said Johnson's departure was "by mutual agreement", adding that his departure marked the end of "a period in which over-ambition and an excessive sense of urgency caused investment and operational mistakes to be made".


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