Elior, the French contract catering company, is thought to have bought Digby Trout Restaurants, which operates restaurant in venues round London.

According to those close to the deal, Elior is planning to merge Digby Trout with its concessions catering company Eliance, keeping the Digby Trout name.

Elior already holds a 20% share in Digby Trout, dating from when it bought Catering & Allied in 1999. Digby Trout was founded as a joint venture with Catering & Allied in 1987.

The eponymous managing director and founder of Digby Trout will become chairman of the new company while Eliance managing director Mark Nelson will be chief executive.

Digby Trout currently runs restaurants in sites including the Tower of London, the British Museum and Kensington Palace.