UK-based independent brewer and pub operator Marston’s has signed an agreement to divest 137 pubs to the community pub group Admiral Taverns for consideration of £44.9m ($57.8m).

The divestiture is in line with Marston’s plan to sell some of its non-core assets to reduce its debt.

Marston’s CEO Ralph Findlay said: “We are making good progress with our plans to reduce our net debt by £200m by 2023 in part through the disposal of non-core assets. We are encouraged by the level of market interest that this portfolio of pubs has attracted.

“This further underpins our confidence in achieving the accelerated £70m disposal proceeds target that we have set ourselves for the current year.”

At present, the company has an estate of 1,537 pubs situated nationally and include managed and franchised, as well as leased pubs.

As part of the transaction, Admiral Taverns will acquire smaller wet-led leased, tenanted and franchised pubs.

Completion of the deal will take place before the end of the month.

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Findlay added: “We remain focused on our stated objective of reducing our net debt by £200m by 2023 or earlier, and thereafter operating a high-quality business generating consistent net cash flow, after dividends, of at least £50m per annum.”

Marston’s is a brewer of premium cask and packaged ales. Its portfolio includes Marston’s Pedigree, Wainwright, Hobgoblin, Young’s, Bombardier, Lancaster Bomber, Banks’s, Jennings, Wychwood, Ringwood, Brakspear, Courage, McEwan’s and Mansfield beers.

Additionally, Marston’s has a range of licensed brands such as Estrella Damm, Warsteiner, Erdinger, Kirin, Shipyard and Founders.