Brewer and pub company Greene King has launched a £207.5m rights issue to enable it to acquire struggling pubs.

The brewer behind brands including Abbot Ale, IPA and Old Speckled Hen said a number of high-quality pubs were being offered for sale at attractive prices due to the economic downturn and it wanted to make the most of the opportunity.

“Today’s rights issue will enable us to take advantage of a compelling opportunity both to enhance our estate further and to strengthen our sound capital position,” said Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand.

“The increase in high-0quality pubs being put up for sale will deliver chances to make earnings-accretive acquisitions. At the same time, there is a potential to opportunistically buy back our debt at discounted levels.”

Greene King also confirmed that its full-year pre-tax profit would not be less than £115m. Trading had “generally improved” since the beginning of the year, the company said.