Muzinich, the New York-based fixed income specialist, has upped its stake in Busaba Eathai, the Phoenix Equity Partners-backed group, MCA has learnt.

It is understood that Muzinich, which last summer provided the 14-strong group with private debt deal of c£16m, has secured a debt for equity swap, taking a significant minority stake in the business in the process.

The move by Muzinich comes after MCA revealed that Busaba’s chief executive Jason Myers is to step down next month and amid speculation of a takeover of the business, which Phoenix first invested in in July 2008.

The company initial secured the debt package through Muzinich last summer to aid its development plans, after it had unveiled a new generation format featuring an evolved ‘Bangkok Thai’ brand proposition.

Myers will officially leave the current 14-strong group at the end of next month. The group will be led following his departure by current interim managing director Terry Harrison, formerly of Gondola Group, and finance director Brigid Hughes.

Harrison spent seven years as a director Gondola, the former owner of ASK Italian, Zizzi, Byron and PizzaExpress. Previous to that he was quality and safety director at PizzaExpress. Recently he has been working as a management consultant.

Under Myers the group branched out into the regions, with openings in St Albans, Liverpool and Manchester, whilst also strengthening its estate in the capital with the opening of sites in Shoreditch and in Eastcastle Street, Fitzrovia. It also lined up openings in Reading, Leeds and Edinburgh.