Welsh brewer and pub operator SA Brain has put itself up for sale, the Sunday Times reports.

Brains, led by CEO Alistair Darby, has hired advisers from Evercore to invite offers for an investment or sale to a trade buyer.

In March, Brains said it would sell 40 of its 200 pubs to pay off debts and help it to navigate “uncertain economic times”.

Earlier this month Brains said it would close more than 100 managed pubs in response to new rules banning the sale of alcohol in pubs and restaurants in.

At the time Darby said the latest restrictions were “insulting” and a “huge slap in the face” for the sector.

Already facing costs of £1.6m on the back of the earlier firebreak lockdown in Wales, Darby described the alcohol rules as a “closure by stealth” and called on politicians to “stop changing their mind” on what is required.

“It’s hugely frustrating and a bit insulting,” he said. “It says people are not making the effort being asked of them.

“The sector has done more than its fair share to ensure those potential deaths are avoided.

“And at the end of this, we will be asking, if lives aren’t saved, what the answer will be?”