Peter Brook, the leased pub industry veteran, is to step down as managing director of Spirit Pub Company’s c.550-strong leased division, M&C Report has learnt.

Brook joined Punch Taverns at the start of this year to assist Ian Dyson, chief executive, with the group’s strategic review before its demerger.

It was thought that Brook had been lined up to lead a management buyout of Spirit’s leased portfolio. However, with Spirit encouraged by the division’s recent performance, the group has decided to rethink that plan.

Last month, the group’s leased division reported that like-for-like net income for the year to 20th August was down 4.1%, although the company reported a stronger second half of the year with sales down by 1.9%. Ebitda declined 3% to £42m, after a 4% reduction in pub numbers. The company said that its leased pubs have an average net income of £97,000.

M&C Report understands that a replacement for Brook could come from Punch Taverns, with operations director Paul Pavli tipped as a possible candidate.

Brook previously served at the group as strategy director after Punch acquired Inspired Inns & Taverns, a leased pub business owned by Alchemy Partners that Brook ran as chief executive.

His return to Punch followed his departure from Admiral Taverns in November 2010 after a two-year stint with the rival leased pub group, heading its turnaround division.

Brook was also previously chief executive at TCG.