Private equity firms will this week submit second-round bids to acquire Côte Brasserie, the French restaurants chain backed by the business tycoon Richard Caring, for at least £120m.
TA Associates and Investcorp are among the four bidders seeking to acquire the fast-growing company, which has nearly 40 restaurants.
Mr Caring and other investors put Côte Brasserie, which sells classic French food, up for sale last year by hiring advisers at the corporate finance firm Hawkpoint.
Its biggest shareholder, Mr Caring is best-known for owning posh London restaurants, including The Ivy, Scott's and Le Caprice.
He is worth an estimated £700m, and also owns Annabel's nightclub and Surrey's Wentworth Club.
Hawkpoint is selling Côte on a multiple of more than nine times underlying earnings of £13m to £14m for this year.
All parties either declined to comment or did not return calls.