Middle East investors are believed to have tabled an interest in EAT, the sandwich chain that is expected to fetch around £150m when it is sold later in the year.
Backers of the high-street group are thought to have spoken with interested parties in the Middle East, who are keen to expand the EAT brand into regions such as Dubai.
The auction of the group, by founders Niall and Faith MacArthur and private equity group Penta Capital, is believed to interest a large number of parties, including Morgan Stanley Private Equity and Advent International, both of which failed in efforts to buy rival sandwich firm Pret A Manger.
Private equity firms from the US are also thought to have tabled an interest.
EAT owns more than 85 shops and is planning to open a raft of new stores within the next year.Reuse content