Mitchells & Butlers is to acquire the remaining 60% stake in Ego Restaurants, with plans to expand the brand across the UK.

The All Bar One and Browns operator took a 40% stake in the James Horler-led business in 2018, entering a joint venture with Ego’s parent company, 3Sixty Restaurants.

Under the joint venture, Ego has doubled its number of Mediterranean-themed pubs and restaurants and currently operates 26 sites.

The deal, expected to complete in June, will add to M&B’s estate of 1,700 restaurants and pubs across the UK.

The Horler-led team will continue to lead the business through its expansion under M&B.

M&B chief executive Phil Urban said: “James and his team have built a strong business, with a strong culture, delivering impressive results.

“Bringing it under M&B ownership will give James the firepower to accelerate expansion, and Ego will be a great addition to our portfolio of market-leading brands.”

Horler added: “The joint venture has been very successful and demonstrates what can be achieved with focused management, great people, real customer engagement and terrific sites. I am excited at the opportunity to open Ego in many more locations across the UK.”

Speaking to MCA in August 2022, Horler said the business was readying a pipeline for 2023, following a strong post-pandemic recovery, new sites trading ahead of forecasts, and sales of £38.8m in the year to March 2022.