Foster's Brewing Group, the Australian drinks giant, is to sell up to a third of its hotels and bottle shops after scrapping plans to demerge the $A800m ($421.2m) portfolio into a separate entity.

Foster's holds more than 150 pubs, 100 bottle shops and more than 6,000 poker machines in its Australian Leisure & Hospitality (ALH) division and the company has looked at several options for restructuring it.

However, Foster's said today that it could find no tax efficient way of splitting the bricks and mortar ownership of the division from the intellectual capital, management and brands of the company. ALH will therefore be kept in its current form.

Instead Foster's will be selling some of its smaller sites that do not operate well, with the aim to own fewer but better pubs and clubs.

Analysts estimates suggest the company could get up to $A150m from the sales. These may be used to repay debt and possibly acquire other small businesses. The most likely target of any acquisition is the global wine industry.