Punch Taverns has agreed the sale of 290 managed pubs to Orchid Pubs, a company formed by US private equity firm GI Partners.

Punch confirmed today (8 June) that the sale forms part of the planned disposal of 380 pubs announced with the interim results last month. Net cash proceeds from the sale are expected to total around GBP571m.

"The transaction represents the first major disposal by Punch following the acquisition of Spirit in January 2006," said Giles Thorley, Punch's chief executive, "and is wholly in line with our strategy to streamline the managed house business whilst converting a further 740 pubs to our core leased estate."

Punch snapped up the Spirit pub group, which had an estate of 1,832 predominantly community pubs located across the UK, earlier this year for GBP2.68bn.