Mitchells & Butlers, the managed pub and casual dining group, has accepted individual offers for 15 pubs from 13 franchisees, writes Paul Charity. The group put its 80-strong franchised business up for sale to focus on its core growth brands and invited offers for the freeholds from franchisees. Successful bidders are thought to include Chris Gerrard of Innventive and Jon and Paula Briscoe of ESP8. Gerard, who has had offers accepted for both his pubs — the Rusty Gun, St Ippolyts, Herts, and the Forresters, Church Crookham, Hampshire. The Briscoes have also had offers for two pubs accepted. The franchise pubs are high quality, with weekly sales per pub of about £13,500. There is speculation that the 65 or so remaining freeholds in the division will be offered for sale in a single package. One source said: “The major tenanted pubcos are not really buying pubs at the moment, but these sites would represent a high quality addition to any estate.” Franchisees who had submitted bids for their pubs were told last Friday whether they had been successful or not. An M&B source said: “We have received satisfactory offers from existing franchisees for 15 pubs within our franchise estate and are in the process of progressing with these sales, subject to relevant legals and finance being in place. We’re looking to complete these sales by 24 September or earlier. “We continue to consider all opportunities for the remainder of the franchise estate and it remains business as usual for everyone concerned in that regard. “This stage of the process has now concluded and we are not inviting further offers from franchisees. While we cannot stop franchisees making further offers if they choose to, in the interest of being fair to everyone involved, we invited full and final offers for this stage of the process and we have now worked through and responded to all of the offers made to us.”