M&B's Lovering to step down as chair

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The Independent Online

John Lovering is set to call time on his year-long stint as chairman of the pubs group Mitchells & Butlers.

His departure is expected to be announced at M&B's annual meeting this week.

The retail sector veteran and former chairman of the high street chain Debenhams arrived at M&B following a boardroom shake-up instigated by Joe Lewis, the Bahamas-based currency trader who owns a 23 per cent stake in the company via his Piedmont investment vehicle.

Mr Lovering led the company through a strategic review which brought forth plans to reshape M&B into a food-led business. Over the last twelve months, Mr Lovering has also overseen the sale of more than 300 pubs as the group, which owns the Harvester, All Bar One and Toby Carvery chains, sought to reduce its debt burden.