A group of super-rich tycoons based in the Caribbean has seized control of Britain's biggest listed pub chain.Mitchells & Butlers, which owns the
A group of super-rich tycoons based in the Caribbean has seized control of Britain’s biggest listed pub chain.
Mitchells & Butlers, which owns the Harvester, Toby Carvery and All Bar One chains, unveiled plans to raise £350million in new equity in a bid to see out the pandemic.
The fundraising will be fully underwritten by three of the group’s largest shareholders – Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis, currency trader Derrick Smith, and investment group Elpida which is backed by Irish horse racing magnates John Magnier and JP McManus.
A £350m fundraising for pub giant Mitchells & Butler will be underwritten by a group of Caribbean-based tycoons which includes Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis (pictured)
The tycoons have also brought their 55 per cent combined stakes together under a new entity called Odyzean, effectively handing them control of the business.
The group of friends and associates are known as the ‘Sandy Lane set’ due to their ties to the exclusive Barbados hotel, a favourite haunt of celebrities such as Joan Collins, Mick Jagger and Philip Green M&B, which cut 1,300 jobs last year, is burning through up to £40million per month while its 1,600 pubs are shut under the UK-wide lockdown. It is also facing a £50million bill to service its debt next month.
‘Without this major equity injection, the prospects for the business, its 1,600 venues, and over 40,000 UK employees would be bleak,’ a spokesman for Odyzean said.
John Magnier (left), and JP McManus (right) have a combined 23.5 per cent stake in Mitchells & Butlers through investment group Elpida
It added that it will look to cut the number of non-executive directors on the board and review the company’s strategy.
M&B will offer a subscription price of 210p-per-share, representing a 36 per cent discount to the stock’s closing price on February 12.
The Odyzean consortium will make up the full £350million if other shareholders do not take part. M&B also agreed a new £150million loan with its banks.
The investors have a criss-cross of business interests in pubs, football, horse racing and care homes going back decades.
Lewis, 84, has a 27 per cent stake in M&B and is the majority owner of Tottenham Hotspur. He was born above a pub in London’s East End but has an estimated net worth of £3.9billion, after making a fortune in currency trading.
Derrick Smith (pictured receiving a trophy from the Queen at the 2014 Ascot festival, started his career as a bookmaker with Ladbrokes, before moving to currency trading
He spends much of his time at Albany, a 600-acre luxury resort in the Bahamas, which he jointly owns with golfers Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, and pop star Justin Timberlake.
Smith, who is worth £550million and lives in a £30million mansion in Barbados, started his career as a bookmaker with Ladbrokes, before moving to currency trading.
The tycoon, whose 210 ft super yacht Callisto is worth £50million, owns the Sandy Lane hotel with Magnier and McManus.
Smith has 4.4 per cent stake in M&B through his Smoothfield vehicle while Magnier and McManus have 23.5 per cent through Elpida.
The trio have strong racing ties through the Coolmore stud in County Tipperary, which has produced some of the world’s best race horses.