Concern grows over influence of Joe Lewis at Mitchells & Butlers

Ron Robson, a boardroom representative of Lewis, has been working in an advisory role at M&B’s head office.

Fears about the dominance of large shareholders at pub group Mitchells & Butlers are set to deepen as a representative of the Bahamas-based financier Joe Lewis has quietly begun playing an active advisory role at the company’s head office in Birmingham.

The group’s boardroom has been in disarray for months after a stream of resignations that have reawakened concerns that billionaire shareholders Lewis, JP McManus and John Magnier – who together hold 42% of shares – have been exerting undue control.

For the past two months the board has comprised only five directors, two of whom are representatives of Lewis. Among the five, non-executives Bob Ivell and Jeremy Blood have been forced to step in as caretaker chairman and chief executive respectively while replacements are sought.

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