M&B to offload pubs for £373m

Pubs and restaurants group Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has announced plans to sell 333 pubs as it concentrates on its premises offering food.

The pubs are being sold to Stonegate Pub Company – which is controlled by TDR Capital – for £373m.

Earlier this month, M&B announced the sale of its Hollywood Bowl 10-pin bowling business to rival AMF Bowling for £39m.

M&B, which owns Harvester and All Bar One, wants to sell off many of its low price drinks pubs and late-night High Street bars.

The deal will bring the amount made from asset sales under its new strategy to £500m.

The pubs include Scream, High Street Bars & Venues, Town Pubs and Community Pubs.

"We are pleased that we have been able to announce the exit from our price-sensitive drinks-led pubs and our late-night venues in a single transaction," said Adam Fowle, M&B's chief executive.

"This disposal, when combined with the sale of our lodge and bowling businesses, completes with the first stage of our strategy."

He said the money from the sales will be used to re-invest in businesses concentrating on food.