Novus Leisure, the bar and nightclub operator, is thought to have carried out a beauty parade of advisors as it considers a number of strategic options to aid the next stage of it development, M&C Report understands.
It is thought that one of either Hawkspoint, Rothschild and McQueen is set to be appointed to advise the group, which operates the Tiger Tiger and Balls Brothers brands, on its options, which could include a sale of the whole of or stake in the business that is valued at between £115-£135m.
Novus, which is led by Steve Richards, was taken private in a £113m management buyout in 2005. Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland took control after a debt-for-equity swap in 2009.
Last year, Novus held discussions over a sale to Duke Street Capital and, although talks broke down at the eleventh hour, it is thought that the backer of Wagamama has continued to show an interest in the group.
One scenario would be a Richards-led management buyout of the business.
Total sales for the company grew by 12% to £106.7m in the financial year ended 26 June 2011 (2010: £94.9m) and are forecast to reach £140m by June 2012.
Novus operates many of the UK’s highest taking premium bars, predominantly located in London’s West end and City, as well as the Tiger Tiger brand in several regional cities nationwide.
In March, the company acquired the 17-strong Balls Brothers and Lewis & Clarke businesses out of administration, for a fee that could eventually exceed £7.8m.
The group believes the London Olympics could be “another Christmas” in terms of trading and has targeted an extra £20m worth of sales over a six-week period — translating to around a £7.5m profit boost.