FIVE Dorset pubs are under new ownership after pub group Marston's sold 137 sites to Admiral Taverns.

The Horton Inn in Wimborne, The Crown at Winterborne Stickland, the Rose and Crown in Sherborne, the Cashmoor Inn near Blandford and the Chapelhey Tavern in Weymouth all formed part of the £45 million deal.

The 137 pubs are mainly tenanted, leased and retail-agreement sites across England and Wales.

Commenting on the completion of the acquisition, Chris Jowsey, Chief Executive of Admiral Taverns said: "On behalf of the entire team here at Admiral I am delighted to be able to officially welcome our new licensees and colleagues into the business.

"We are firm champions of the leased and tenanted model and through this latest acquisition have been able to acquire an excellent portfolio of pubs, for which we are confident we can unlock new growth opportunities through our award-winning and highly supportive approach.

"Our integration programme is well underway, and we look forward to developing these new working partnerships."

Admiral has also recently acquired 150 pubs from the Star Pubs and Bars group.