£350m share issue

Sports tycoons take control of Mitchells & Butlers

J P McManus: horse racing magnate

Three of the wealthiest men in sport have taken control of Britain’s biggest listed pub chain.

Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis and Irish horse racing magnates John Magnier and JP McManus are among those underwriting a £350 million share issue by Mitchells & Butlers.

The company owns the Toby Carvery and All Bar One chains, as well as well-known hostelries such as the The Horseshoe Bar in Glasgow and Sheep Heid in Duddingston.

It announced on Monday the issue of new equity to refinance the company through the lockdown.

sheep Heid

Sheep Heid Inn is among the group’s pubs

The cash call will also be supported by currency trader Derrick Smith, another horse racing owner.

The Caribbean-based tycoons have brought their 55% combined stakes together under a new entity called Odyzean, effectively handing them control of the business.

They are known as the ‘Sandy Lane set’ due to their ties to the exclusive Barbados hotel of the same name which is owned by Smith, Magnier and McManus.

Together the group have agreed to support M&B which last year cut 1,300 jobs. Lewis, said to be worth about £4 billion, is the biggest shareholder with 27% of the company.

M&B is offering investors a subscription price of 210p-per-share, representing a 36% discount to the stock’s closing price on 12 February. It has also agreed a new £150million loan with its banks.


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