Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) biggest shareholder Robert Tchenguiz has re-stated his view that the company should pursue the route of converting into a real estate investment trust (reit). The move would mean M&B being split into a property company and an operating company. He told Property Week: "For an operating business to own real estate is a very high capital-employed strategy and a very low-return strategy. "For management teams focused on return on capital employed, which is the premier benchmark, then you don¹twant real estate. Owning real estate is legacy-orientated. "Tchenguiz also insisted that he is a long-term investor in M&B despite its shares being worth less than half the sum he paid for much of his holding. "I am adamant the market, sooner or later, will recognise the value of these companies' assets. In the meantime, yes, on paper we¹ve lost money. "But the companies we¹ve picked are making record profits." Tchenguiz also gave Property Week an explanation of what went wrong at his Laurel Pub Company, which went int administration earlier this year. He said: "We have two businesses in Laurel – one is drinks led, the other food led. The food-led business is doing pretty well. "The drinks-led business, three things went against it: the smoking ban; licensing ­ suddenly every pub in the high street was open to three in the morning, where previously it was only us at Yates's; and then the supermarkets started selling very cheap liquor. "These three problems we had in one year. It¹s like being a butcher and then you have mad cow disease."