LONDON (AP) _ BAT Industries PLC said Tuesday it would sell its 18 John Breuner Co. furniture stores to Prism Capital Corp., a merchant bank in New York, for $92.5 million in cash.

The deal is to be completed in about two months through BATUS Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of BAT, the conglomerate said.

Breuners, which is based in San Ramon, California, was bought by BAT in 1982.

The sale is one step in BAT's strategy of focusing on its tobacco and financial services businesses to fight off a 13.4 billion-pound, or $22 billion, hostile takeover offer from Hoylake Investments Ltd., an investor group led by Anglo-French financier Sir James Goldsmith.

Part of this restructuring includes the sale of all BAT's retail operations in the United States.

The others to be sold include Saks Fifth Avenue, Marshall Field's, Ivey's and Breuners' furniture rental business. The conglomerate said it hopes to have all the sales completed by the middle of this year.

Prism was founded last year by Dennis and Steven Wong, who have backgrounds in merchant banking, venture capital and real estate, BAT said.

Prism also owns a controlling interest in Barker Bros. Co., a chain of 11 high-quality furniture stores in Southern California, BAT said.

Prism intends to operate the two retailers independently, it said.

The combined annual revenue of Breuners and Barker exceed $200 million, BAT said.