Luminar, the country's biggest bar and nightclub owner, has been telling people behind the scenes that it will not be making a move on the troubled SFI chain.

Luminar was named as a possible bidder for SFI after the company, owner of the Slug and Lettuce, Litten Tree and Bar Med chains, saw its share price drop 80 per cent on he news that cash flow problems meant it was breaking some of its banking covenants.

However, the Financial Times today carries a story saying Luminar "is not thought to be" planning a bid for SFI, without naming a source. This is likely to mean that someone in, or close to, the company has been talking to a journalist.