Birmingham-based pubs group Mitchells & Butlers has announced the sale of more than 300 pubs as part of its exit from the late-night high street bars market.
The group, which owns Harvester, Toby Carvery and All Bar One, is selling the sites for £373 million to a company controlled by TDR Capital, a private equity firm best known for its investments in CenterParcs and Pizza Express.
The estate includes 52 Scream bars - focused on the student market - and 71 music bars and late night entertainment venues, including some under the Flares brand.
The 333-strong estate also includes 75 largely unbranded town centre pubs, 67 drinks-led community pubs and 68 smaller outlets.
Mitchells' withdrawal from the lower price, drinks-led market will leave it with an estate comprising 1,580 restaurants and food-led pubs.
This has been an attractive area for Mitchells after the smoking ban, alcohol duty increases and the recession impacted the drinks-led market.
Mitchells said it planned to reinvest the proceeds into growth opportunities in the eating out market, where the company's like-for-like sales growth since 2007 has been one percentage point higher than its historical trend.
The company estimates it serves around 124 million meals and 445 million drinks each year.
The disposal, which is subject to approval by shareholders, will mean that Mitchells has raised more than £500 million from the sale of non-core interests.
Already this month it sold its Hollywood Bowl ten-pin bowling business to rival AMF Bowling for £39 million.