KPMG advice on ill-fated pub deal was a ‘one-off’

Troubled pub group Mitchells
& Butlers
brought in
KPMG on a one-off contract
to advise on the debt component of its ill-fated property deal, it has emerged.

The firm was one of three advising on problems with a property deal, which
has seen the finance director Karim Naffah depart and also threatens to drive
the group into the clutches of rival Punch Taverns.

A spokeswoman for M&B said the firm had been a debt adviser on the deal:
‘They were only retained for that specific project.’

and JC Rathbone were the
other advisers. Last week, the company said that it had lost £274m as part of a
property deal. The losses arose after the bank failed to close hedges against
the aborted deal with Robert Tchenguiz.

While it made no comment on the likelihood of
KPMG being commissioned for
future deals, the spokeswoman said: ‘Citigroup remain M&B’s advisers.’

M&B claimed that it had kept the hedges open on the advice of its
advisers, though it is not clear which of the firms gave the costly advice.

KPMG would confirm only that it was an adviser on the deal.

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