Foster's Group, the Australian drinks giant, is expected to make a decision regarding the future of its pubs and hospitality business within the next month, the news agency Reuters reported market sources as saying today.

Early in June Foster's confirmed that it was considering selling its pubs, hotels and restaurants business, in a move that would see it focus instead on its core wines and beers operations and net the company up to A$1 billion in any sale.

Investment bank Macquarie Bank has been conducting a review to help assess "strategic options in relation to the future ownership" of Foster's Australian Leisure and Hospitality unit, the nation's largest owner of pubs.

Among the options open to Foster's are an outright sale, the formation of a joint venture or placing the business in a trust.

However, according to sources, a trade sale to a private equity investor is the most likely option, ahead of a listing spin-off, or the less likely option of retaining the business.