Located in the North West and Midlands, Pesto offers authentic and freshly prepared Italian small plates at sensible prices in an informal, relaxed setting.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Neil and Sara will continue to manage the business for an 18-month period to help M&B identify and convert sites to the Pesto brand. The consideration for the business will be determined over two payments and is partly contingent on its future performance but will be no more than £15M.

Phil Urban, CEO for M&B, commented: “I’m delighted to welcome the Pesto team to M&B. It’s a business with a distinctive USP which we’ve long admired and which will help us to further diversify and premiumise our brand portfolio.”

Neil Gatt, Pesto’s co-founder, added: ‘After 18 years Sara and I are delighted to see our business become part of the Mitchells & Butlers portfolio of brands. For Pesto to fulfil its true potential as an innovative and unique brand, it was always necessary for us to team up with a partner that had a substantial property portfolio within which to grow the brand and there is no better partner than M&B to do that. We want to sincerely thank our very loyal and committed team at Pesto for all of their hard work and dedication over the years. We look forward to working hard over the next 18 months to integrate our fantastic people and our amazing business into the M&B family.”