Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group is to open discussions with potential equity partners about funding the next phase of its development, MCA understands.

The group is believed to have appointed AlixPartners to advise on the fundraising, which could lead to private equity backing but equally could see the group partner with a trade investor with global reach.

The company underwent a Company Voluntary Arrangement last year, leading to the closure of 12 sites.

Since then the group has invested in a number of Jamie’s Italian sites and continued to develop the international franchise business. Despite the tough market conditions, MCA understands the business is looking to expand the successful cookery school offering and roll out a new Jamie Oliver concept in addition to further investment in Jamie’s Italian on the back of the early success of the invested sites.

While revenue is thought to now be around £65m compared to £100m in 2017, EBITDA is believed to be tracking at c£5m.

Chief executive Jon Knight is expected to continue running the group following any new investment, with Oliver set to invest alongside the partner.

Over the past year, growth has been focussed on international expansion and partnerships with the likes of SSP and Aramark. The latter has seen the group enter the workplace catering market for the first time. At the end of last month, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group opened its second location with Aramark – a Jamie Oliver’s Deli at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.