The Leicestershire independent brewer Everards has announced that it is to sell seven of its managed houses as part of plans to convert its estate from managed to tenancy by September.

Most of the pubs for sale also have budget hotels attached. Everards said that it was open to sale or exchange on the seven sites on offer.

The remaining 29 sites will be converted to tenanted properties.

Company chairman Richard Everard said: "Operating our relatively small managed estate, of 36 pubs and hotels, is becoming ever more demanding of resources. The infrastructure required to manage it properly makes the net benefits increasingly unattractive, even though we are trading them very successfully. We recognise that we simply lack critical mass".

The company said that it planned to add up to 40 properties, all of which will be within 70 miles of Leicester, in line with the aim of becoming one of the region's dominant players.