Spirit Group is to sell up to 300 smaller houses ahead of a possible stock market debut next year. The company, which operates a 2,400-strong managed estate, has appointed Deutsche Bank to act as adviser. The Spirit board is said to be working through the estate and no final decision has been taken yet as to the exact number of pubs that will be sold. It is thought the sale will come from the bottom end of the business, featuring smaller managed houses that would appeal to a variety of leased operators, including Enterprise Inns, Punch and Wolverhampton & Dudley. The “nip and tuck” sale is seen as a prelude to an IPO, some time next year. The company already sold Premier Lodge together with 19 pub restaurants to Whitbread for £536. The Times newspaper has reported that the company is considering selling 300 high street bars. Analysts believe the company has to sell up to 600 pubs before it can float.