Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) closed down 5.25p on Friday at 304p ahead of interim results on May 19. The pub company is expected to be probed about its intentions towards Spirit Group. Speculation is growing that Spirit will ditch a flotation in preference for a break-up. M&B is thought to be best-placed to buy its neighbourhood sites. Whitbread is seen to be a candidate for some of the restaurant brands. The Times 07/05/05 page 99 (Smaller Capitalisation Shares)