Mitchells & Butlers is expected to announce next week that its plan to sell a stake in the business has been put on hold. The pub operator, which owns All Bar One and Harvester, has been in talks with private equity companies, Bain Capital, Permira and Blackstone/CVC Capital Partners about selling 29.9 per cent of the company. The private equity companies are said to be unwilling to stump up cash unless M&B can identify a new acquisition target. M&B’s talks to buy Spirit Group, the managed pub division of Punch Taverns, have recently collapsed. M&B is prepared to offer Robert Tchenguiz a seat on the board as a non-executive director, according to a report in The Sunday Times. However, The Sunday Telegraph says the boardroom seat will be offered to Tim Smalley, an executive at Tchenguiz’s investment vehicle R20, which holds a stake of almost 27% in the company. Meanwhile M&B may review its ownership of its ten-pin bowling arm as well as its German restaurants. The Sunday Times 18/05/08 (Business) page 3.1 The Sunday Telegraph 18/05/08 (Business) page 1