Marston's has acquired Eldridge Pope from Michael Cannon for GBP155m (US$305.5m).

The company, formerly known as Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries, said today (25 January) that it will retain 135 pubs based predominantly in the south of England. The continuing estate includes 95 managed pubs and 40 tenanted pubs. At the same time, Marston's plans to sell 18 sites within the next 12 months, which should generate proceeds of up to GBP10m.

"We are delighted with the acquisition of Eldridge Pope," said Marston's chief executive Ralph Findlay. "It has invested significantly in the business in recent years, and offers a high quality well managed estate which complements our existing business both operationally and geographically. The Eldridge Pope estate should benefit from becoming a part of Marston's, and offers further opportunity for investment in the future."

Michael Cannon acquired the original Eldridge Pop business, together with the Que Pasa high street brand, in 2004 through his investment company SDA Limited.

Separately, at the Annual General Meeting tomorrow, Findlay is expected to say that Christmas and New Year trading was in line with expectations.