Pub operator Punch Taverns has signalled that it could sell some of its most prized sites as the company moves to reduce its £4.5bn debt.

According to press reports, Punch has approached brewers including Fuller’s, Young’s and Shepherd Neame about taking over some of its pubs

“Punch has indicated it will not consider silly offers but it has given the impression that it will consider offers for almost any of its pubs, including some of its classic London pubs, as long as it gets a decent offer,” an insider told The Times.

The paper also reports that Sapient Corporate Finance has been appointed to sound out potential buyers.

The news is likely to alert the likes of Greene King and Mitchells & Butlers to the possibility of acquiring a number of sites.