The £450m auction for Prêt a Manger is on the verge of collapse amid reports that Lion Capital has become the latest in a number of private equity firms to drop out of the bidding. There are fears that a recession in America will wreck roll-out plans there and concerns that millionaire founders Sinclair Beecham and Julian Metcalfe will not reinvest in the business. The Sunday Telegraph 02/12/07 (Business) page 3