Scottish & Newcastle, the UK's largest brewing force, is reported to be in talks with the Royal Bank of Scotland regarding the sale of up to 1,000 of its 1,500 pubs.

The negotiations are said to be at an advanced stage, with a conclusion expected some time during the fourth quarter. There has been considerable speculation concerning S&N's plans for its pub estate. Options including securitisation or sale and leaseback are thought to have been discussed.