Cinven, the private equity firm, is the company behind the approach for Gondola Holdings, the casual dining group that operates Pizza Express, ASK and Zizzi, according to the Financial Times. Gondola announced yesterday that it had received an approach regarding a possible offer for the company of 415p in cash per share. This would value the company at £560m, and with debts of £346m, give it an enterprise value of around £900m. However, the company has said there can be no certainty that any offer will be made. Cinven was part of a consortium with Enterprise Inns that acquired the Unique Pub Company in March 2002 for £2.17bn. It also funded Fitness First’s £394.2m move from public to private in June 2003. TDR Capital currently holds the largest stake in Gondola with 32.34%, with Capricorn holding 16%, and Fidelity, 8.82%. The group, which earlier this month reportedly had an approach for Giraffe, the casual dining chain, rejected, operates 518 restaurants in the UK and Ireland. Gondola said it had plans to open 300 more outlets for its three core brands in the UK and Ireland. The company also operates a number of outlets under three fledgling concepts - Jo Schmo’s, its burger bar concept, Al Rollo, it’s pizza-by-the-metre restaurant concept, and Lupa, its pizza delivery brand. A fourth concept, Leamington Bar & Grill, a more upmarket restaurant offering, opened earlier this year. The company reported a 6.5% rise in ebitda to £47.7m for the 28 weeks to 8 January. It also reported a 4% increase in like-for-like sales for the year to 2 July. Total restaurant sales for the same period grew by 7%.