POPULAR city party venue Reflex has been sold along with the Avondale pub as part of a £373m deal.

But the deal has left the ownership of Southampton’s Flares bar shrouded in mystery after pub company Mitchells and Butlers (M&B) declined to say whether it had been included.

The majority of the Flares chain was offloaded to private equity firm TDR Capital on Friday but some have been retained by M&B and are intended to be converted into a new brand.

The future for Southampton’s Flares is now unclear after M&B said it was not releasing details of individual venues sold.

The deal with TDR for 333 outlets saw the Reflex chain and its Lower Bannister Street venue included along with the 52-strong student-focused Scream bar chain, which encompasses the Avondale in Carlton Crescent.

All will form the nucleus of a new pub and leisure group to be called Stonegate Pub Company that plans to expand as the pub and on-trade industry undergoes re-organisation in the coming years.

TDR has pedigree in the market after its 1998 backing of Punch Taverns, today one of Hampshire’s biggest pub owners, and the subsequent acquisition of an estate of 1,428 pubs from Bass. Then, in 2003, TDR acquired Pizza Express before combining it with ASK in 2004 to create the Gondola Group.