Bank Restaurant Group (BRG), the listed casual dining concern, is in advanced discussions to acquire the Individual Restaurant Company (IRC), the Manchester-based casual dining group. If successful the transaction would constitute a reverse takeover by IRC, which operates the Piccolino and Restaurant Bar & Grill chains. Altium, the stockbroker, has been appointed as financial advisor and broker to the deal. It is leading a placing at 3p per share, which is expected to raise more than £25m to fund the deal. In a statement BRG said that discussions were ongoing and there is certainty that they will lead to a transaction. IRC, which is partly owned by Gresham Private Equity, currently operates nine Piccolino restaurants, its Italian restaurant concept, and four Restaurant Bar & Grills, and has a pipeline in place for further openings of both brands next year. BRG operates five Zinc restaurants following a portfolio review undertaken by the company after it acquired the chain in December last year for £1.5m. The company expects to restyle the entire Zinc estate by mid-2007, and also hopes to have in total 10 Zinc restaurants in operation by the end of next year.