Shares in Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) dropped 17.4p to 235.1p after billionaire Joe Lewis withdrew his £3bn offer for the managed pub operator, which has been urged to accelerate plans to put together a new board in order to halt “an exodus of talent” and to stabilise performance. Leading analyst Douglas Jack at Numis said: “We suspect that other major shareholders were not supportive of a derisory bid. Given this and an inability to re-bid for six months, Piedmont should, in theory, now be more motivated to support efforts to re-build leadership in the company, with the focus on generating organic growth. “M&B has become an easier target for competitors to poach staff, in our view. If the company had been taken private at 230p/share, the trickle might have turned into a flood. We believe there has been no recent loss of senior management (who are tied in to big contracts), but competitors claim to be finding it easier to attract unit and area managers. “We believe group Board level recruitment is about to recommence with plans already in place. The Executive Board continues to remain stable and has done an excellent job through a long period of disruption for the company. “Piedmont still intends to remain ‘an active and engaged shareholder’ Disruption cannot be ruled out, but in theory the probability of major shareholders promoting stronger leadership and organic growth from the company should have increased.”