Up to six parties are still believed to be in the running to acquire La Tasca, the Spanish tapas restaurant group led by Simon Wilkinson, which was placed on the market earlier this year, M&C has learnt.

It is thought that ahead of the final bid deadline this week there are up to three private equity firms and three trade buyers still in contention the 46-strong group.

Casual Dining Group and Prezzo have previously been mooted as trade buyers for the business, while The Restaurant Group is believed to be exploring acquisition opportunities after running the rule over Ed’s Easy Diner.

At the start of the year, the company appointed BDO Corporate Finance to advise on its options in a move that should see current backers Kaupthing and Commerzbank end their interest in the business.

The company, which recorded its highest ever sales day in its 21 year history on Valentine’s Day, recently launched its next generation brand design at its Covent Garden site.

The group reported that sales were up 10.6% over Valentine’s weekend versus last year, which meant that its financial year saw like-for-like sales growth of over 5%, while like-for-like EBITDA growth is expected to finish up around 50%.

It is thought the company has experienced a good performance for the calendar year to date.

It is thought that the management team, which led by Wilkinson has overseen over two years of continuous sales and EBITDA growth, would look to stay in place if new private equity backers were brought in.