It has emerged that Ian Payne, the pub industry veteran, is to head the pub group formed by TDR Capital with the acquisition this morning of 333 pubs from Mitchells & Butlers (M&B). Payne, who was previously chief executive of Laurel Pub Company and a former senior manager at Bass, has been working with TDR on the £373m deal to form Stonegate pub Company since March. It is not clear if Payne will take an executive position or chair the group on a non-executive basis. He is also chairman of Town & City Pub Company and Bay Restaurant Group, and it remains to be seen if he will continue in these positions given the potential conflict of chairing another business most would regard as a direct competitor. The transaction is expected to complete in November. It is thought that M&B will undertake to provide transitional services to Stonegate for a set period of time – up to six months – after completion.