ONE of the oldest pubs in Brighton has been sold as part of a multimillion pound takeover.

The Druids Head in Brighton Place has been sold by the Orchid Group as part of a £266 million deal with Mitchells & Butlers – the largest operator of managed pubs and restaurants in the UK.

The deal, announced yesterday, will see 137 pubs across the country change hands.

According to history books The Druids Head building has been used as a pub since 1825.

Management insist it is business as usual following Mitchells & Butlers’ acquisition.

Tom Robinson, deputy manager of The Druids Head, said: “I’d like to reassure punters that as far as I’ve been told, we are going nowhere. I’ve been in contact with Orchid and the firm told me the takeover will be a smooth one and there are no plans for closure.

“It’s just changed hands but staff and management will stay the same and it will be business as usual.

“We’re proud to be one of the oldest pubs in Brighton and look forward to the future under a new company.”

Known for its charming characteristics, The Druids Head boasts attractive brickwork and sash windows on its outside and traditional features inside, including a copper-topped bar and flagstone floor.

It joins a long list of other Mitchells & Butlers venues across Brighton and Hove including The Font, the Pump House, All Bar One, Browns, the Sussex Cricketer and the Royal Pavilion Tavern.

Alistair Darby, chief executive of Mitchells and Butlers, said: “The acquisition of the majority of the Orchid estate will accelerate Mitchells and Butlers’ growth.

“We look forward to welcoming the Orchid employees who will transfer to Mitchells and Butlers.”