American hedge fund Elliott Advisers is among investors vying to take over Casual Dining Group (CDG), Sky News reports.

The activist investor owns Waterstones, and was instrumental in fast tracking Whitbread’s sell-off of Costa Coffee to Coca-Cola.

Elliott Advisers is among a small number of funds which have tabled bids for the whole group, which operates Bella Italia and Café Rouge, and collapsed into administration last week.

Other funds are vying for individual parts of the business, with special situations funds such as Aurelius Equity Opportunities, making an offer to buy Café Rouge and Bella Italia.

Endless, another turnaround firm, has submitted an offer for Las Iguanas, and is competing against Trispan, a private equity firm which is an investor in Rosa’s Thai Cafe.

AlixPartners was appointed on Thursday to run an insolvency process, announcing that 91 of its 250 sites would close immediately with the loss of one-third of its 6000-strong workforce.

In a statement last week, James Spragg, CDG CEO, said: “After reviewing all our options with advisers, it became clear that we needed to take this action in order to protect the business and secure the best possible future for Casual Dining Group as we look to conclude a potential sale.

“Working alongside the administrators we will do everything we can to support them through this process with a view to preserving as much employment as we are able to.”