British brewery, pub and hotel operator Marston’s has entered into an agreement with Wales-based pubs and brewing firm Brains to operate its portfolio of 156 pubs.

Marston’s will operate Brains pubs under a leased and management contract arrangements.

Marston’s chief executive Ralph Findlay said: “We have worked closely with the management team and the SA Brain family to collaborate on a mutually beneficial transaction that safeguards the future of Wales’ leading pub company, enabling these great pubs to have a stable and successful future, and securing 1,300 hospitality jobs in Wales.”

Established in Cardiff in 1882, Brains pubs portfolio is located in South and West Wales, which includes a freehold estate of 86 managed and 55 tenanted pubs, together with a leasehold estate of 15 managed pubs and bars.

Brains business also includes a heritage beer brand of Wales of the same name.

Brains had to go for the deal as its business witnessed a significant financial pressure due to Covid-19 restrictions in Wales.

Currently, Brains pub business has a workforce of approximately 1,300 people, who will be later transferred to Marston’s.

Beginning from February 2021, Marston’s will operate the 141 freehold pubs on a leasehold basis, with rent chargeable from April 2021.

The British brewery and pub operator intends to continue to operate these pubs under the Brains’ brand and continue to offer Brains’ beers in these pubs.

The deal is expected to be completed in February 2021.

Brains chairman John Rhys said: “This agreement marks the formation of a lasting strategic relationship with Marston’s which secures the future of Brains’ pubs and 1,300 of our employees within them.

“We know and trust Marston’s to be excellent custodians of our pubs and, whilst this is not a decision we have taken lightly, we are confident that both our pubs – and our pubs teams – will thrive under their stewardship.”