Inventive Leisure this morning announced that it had received an approach from an unnamed private equity group, which may or may not lead to an offer being made. As the approach required management participation, an independent committee has been formed comprising John Green, the company’s chairman, and Nick Stagg, an executive director. Inventive has previously been linked to a possible bid by Ultimate Leisure, with Mark Jones, Ultimate’s new chairman, and Colin Rowlinson, its new business development director, thought to have increased their holding in the company to around 3.5% in recent weeks. Jones and Rowlinson are believed to have acquired the stake through a series of purchases over the past month, through a mix of ordinary share trading plus so-called Contracts-for-Difference (CFDs), a mechanism that enables investors to buy shares through a third party, thus maintaining their anonymity. The news came as Inventive, which has a market capitalisation of £29.32m, reported a1.5% increase in like-for-like sales for the year to 30 June. Turnover was up 7.8% to £44.9m, with pre-tax profit up 45.0% to £3.6m and operating profit up 31.2% to £4.4m. Gearing was reduced to 46.1%, with net debt cut to £8.6m from £10.5m in 2004. The company said that like-for-like sales for the nine weeks since the year-end were up by 0.6% with overall sales for the same period are up by 3.9% and operating margins "in line with management’s expectations". The group opened a new Revolution bar in Manchester in February and said that it had £800,000 invested in four new sites scheduled to open in the current financial year, including the Leeds site which opened in July. The group’s Cardiff property has suffered what the company called "development delays" and is yet to be handed over. The largest Revolution to date is set to open in Plymouth in the autumn, followed by a new site in Chiswick around Christmas. The group said that it was close to exchange of contracts on two further sites. Roy Ellis, the company’s chief executive, said: "The recent openings and the development opportunities in the pipeline reinforce our belief that there can be around 100 successful Revolutions in the UK. "We continue to implement new ideas and we have additional initiatives to launch in the near future. The board remains confident for the long-term growth prospects for the group."