Ed’s Easy Diner has been put back on the market as it seeks new investment, according to Sky News.
The 59-strong chain, which aborted an 18-month-long sale process earlier this year, is believed to have appointed KPMG to undertake a “rapid hunt for new financing”.
Sky News said that this news process could lead to an outright sale of the chain, although the existing shareholders, including chief executive Andrew Guy, preference was for a refinancing of the business which left them in control.
The company had been working with advisers at AlixPartners on efforts to put in place a mezzanine finance package, but those discussions have now ended.
In the second half of last year, the business was placed on the market with a mooted asking price of as much as £90m, however it is believed that bids for the fast-growing group were closer to the £60m mark.
It is thought to have generated serious interest from the likes of private equity firms ECI Partners, Bowmark Capital and TPG.
However, it is thought that the initial process was hampered by a large number of the new openings missing their performance targets and the appointment of a new chief executive, Ivan Schofield, who stepped down in February.
Earlier this month, Guy said that the group is pausing for breath in terms of its expansion plans, after considering a partial company voluntary arrangement.
The company said that it was in talks with landlords of three of its 59 sites in relation to handing back the keys to premises.
It recently signed a franchise deal with SSP with plans to open 11 sites in transports hubs and visitor attractions by the summer of 2020.