Mitchells & Butlers revealed yesterday that the potential loss from hedging its aborted £4.5bn property joint venture with Robert Tchenguiz’s investment vehicle R20 had more than doubled to £140m. The Times. The Independent. The Guardian

Karim Naffah, the pub group’s finance director, confirmed that the deficit at its 29 September financial year-end would be booked as an exceptional loss, which would technically all but wipe out its forecast pretax profits of about £200m.

Naffah said the group expected to be able to resurrect a property deal, whether with Tchenguiz or as an internal transaction, once the wider market improved.

‘It’s not unreasonable to expect the debt markets to open up again as some stage in the future,’ he said.

The deal with Tchenguiz would have allowed M&B to return up to £1bn to shareholders and was to have involved the injection of 1,300 of its 2,000 outlets into the joint venture, with a rent level of £240m. R20 would have bought a 50% stake for about £250m.