Overall ranking: 4 (11)
Pub ranking: 1 (3)
Tim Clarke - Snapshot
Tim Clarke has been chief executive of Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) since it demerged from Six Continents (formerly Bass) in April 2003.
M&B is the fifth largest pub operator and the second largest managed pub business in the UK. It runs more than 2,000 pubs, bars and restaurants (of which 80% are freehold) and is a significant player in the budget hotel market. In the year to 1 October 2005, the group reported pre-tax profits of £192m on sales of £1.66b.
Tim Clarke - Career guide
Tim Clarke, who was born in March 1957, graduated from Oxford in 1978. He joined stockbroker Panmure Gordon & Co the following year, where he worked as a brewery analyst from 1979 and as a partner and head of research from 1985 to 1990.
Clarke became director of strategy for Bass in 1990 and, in 1992, become managing director for Bass European Hotels. In 1995, he took the role of chief executive of Bass Retail, which became M&B after the demerger.
After Bass disposed of its brewery interests in 2000, it renamed itself Six Continents, with Clarke as chief executive. It split into InterContinental Hotels Group and M&B in 2003.
Tim Clarke - What we think
M&B is a relatively new company but its name dates back to the merger of two family pub companies in the Midlands in 1898. M&B was snapped up by Bass, Ratcliffe and Gretton in 1961 to become Bass, Mitchells & Butler until the group merged with Charrington United in 1967. Between 1997 and 1998 Bass sold off its leased pubs to leave it with the nucleus of the modern M&B.
M&B proved a tasty bait when Six Continents announced its planned demerger and attracted many approaches and offers. In March 2003, shareholders rejected a bitterly-disputed £5.6b bid for the whole group from entrepreneur Hugh Osmond and a £2.8b offer for the pubs division from private equity group BC Partners. CVC Capital Partners and the Laurel Pub Company also showed a strong interest.
The group's attractiveness re-emerged this May, when acquisitive property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz made a pre-conditional bid of 550p per share for the group, which the directors turned down.
M&B now owns 3% of the UK’s pubs but accounts for 10% of the sector’s turnover, with weekly sales per pub three times the national average.
The group operates a diverse stable of brands under two operating divisions – pubs and bars (Ember Inns, Hollywood Bowl, Arena, Flares, Edwards, Goose, Scream, O’Neills, Sizzling Pub Co) and restaurants (Vintage Inns, Harvester, Toby Carvery, All Bar One, Innkeeper’s Fayre, Brown’s and the Alex bar and brasserie chain in Germany).
M&B also operates 24 Express by Holiday Inn hotels and 80 Innkeeper Lodges, making it the UK’s fifth largest budget hotel group and the 15th largest hotel operator.
Food sales have grown from 11% to 30% of the group's total revenue in the past decade, rising to 60% at brands such as Harvester, Toby and Vintage Inns.
Its £497m acquisition this July of more than 240 pub-restaurants from Whitbread provides an important opportunity for M&B to reposition its estate towards the high-growth eating out market, and immediately boosted the food sales mix of its enlarged estate towards 40%.
The group emerged as the most esteemed hospitality business in the UK in the peer-reviewed Britain’s Most Admired Companies rankings in December 2005, when it rocketed from 65th to ninth position in the pan-industry top 220.
Tim Clarke is also a director of the British Beer & Pub Association (where he served as chairman in 2002) and a non-executive director of Associated British Foods.
Tim Clarke – Further Information