Mitchells & Butlers, the pub group, faces a stark warning from one of its leading shareholders that its plan to spin off its £5bn property portfolio could bring the company down. Sunday Telegraph

One of the group’s institutional shareholders is to write to directors questioning M&B’s strategy of putting its property in a separately listed real estate investment trust, saddling the company with a huge rent bill.

The shareholder said: “Our message to the company is that we need to clearly understand why this is such a good idea. We think they have got this wrong and the operating company could fail. There would be the property company but not the operating company.”

The scheme is strongly backed by Robert Tchenguiz, the property entrepreneur who has a 19% stake in M&B.