The lion’s share of 3D Entertainment (3DE), the up-for-sale nightclub business, is set to be acquired by Sun Capital Partners, M&C Report understands. Around 30 sites are expected to be bought by the American private equity firm in a deal valued at about £10m – which could be concluded as soon as tomorrow. It will form a new company called Atmosphere Bars & Clubs. Zolfo Cooper is handling the process. The 3DE business, which operates the Chicago Rock Café brand, is 49% owned by Luminar, Britain’s biggest nightclub group, 30% owned by management and 21% owned by Prestbury, the property firm. It is thought that the transaction will see bank debt outstanding to HBoS paid in full although it is believed that anything recovered by Luminar against its £10m outstanding loan note will be minimal. The disposal to Sun Capital, together with a separate transaction that is expected to see about 12 sites sold to JD Wetherspoon, will leave a handful of sites – about five or six – without a buyer. A number of these sites are likely to belong to Prestbury. The deal represents the first step into the UK leisure market for Sun, a specialist group specialising in distressed situations. It targets companies with Eu30m to Eu3bn in sales and has a broad pan-business focus. Most recently it has invested in SCS, the furniture retailer in 2008 and also has interests in Lee Cooper jeans, Bundy Refrigeration and the Home Form Group, the fitted kitchen and bedroom supplier. It is thought to have emerged from a group of interested potential buyers that included R Capital, Matterhorn Capital and Novus Leisure. A break up of the 3DE business follows reported unsuccessful attempts by its board to merge with other companies operating in the late-night space, including Regent Inns and Premium Bars & Restaurants. The business was spun out of Luminar in January 2007 in a deal valued at the time at about £95m. At the time the business comprised close to 100 venues.