Mitchells & Butlers to sell 333 pubs

image captionM&B said it wants to focus on more food-led operations

Pubs and restaurants group Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has announced plans to sell 333 pubs as it withdraws from the "lower price, drinks-led market".

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

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

The sales form part of a strategy outlined by the group in March.

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

Once the sale of the 333 pubs has been completed, the group will have raised £500m from recent asset sales, it said.

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

Following the sales, the group will have 1,580 restaurants and food-led pubs in the UK.

"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."

The money from the sales will be used to reinvest in food-led sites, he added.

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