Brewer and pub operator Marston's has sold 279 tenanted pubs for £82.5m to Piccadilly Licensed Properties (PLP).
PLP is owned by commercial property investment group Active Asset Investment Management, who count Sir David Frost and Sir Alex Ferguson as shareholders.
Marston's will receive the funds in cash and use proceeds from the sale to reduce debt.
Ralph Findlay, chief executive at Marston's, said: "The effects of this disposal are to increase the average quality of our tenanted and leased estate, and to place us in a better position to take advantage of positive market trends, including growth in pub dining."
For the financial year ending September 2006 the 279 pubs generated and EBITDA profit of £7.5m and, as of 28 April, had a gross asset value of £81.1m.
By Christopher Walton