Brewer and pub operator Marston’s has secured an agreement to extend a £400m debt facility for a further three years.

The deal, which was first signalled in December, has been struck with around half a dozen major lenders, according to The Times.

Under the terms of the deal- which will see the brewer of the Pedigree and Cumberland ales pay a much higher rate of interest than previously – the loan will be reduced to £295m by August 2010.

The arrangement means Marston’s, whose total debt is just under £1.3bn, was able to continue paying dividends to shareholders – in contrast to rival pub operators Punch Taverns and Mitchells & Butlers, which have both suspended any payments.

Last month Scottish & Newcastle met with lenders headed by Barclays to renegotiate debts faced by its Globe Pub Company subsidiary following a slump in sales for the group.