Nando’s, the Capricorn Ventures-backed chain, has moved quickly to deny a report that it was exploring the possibility of a London stock market listing.

According to a report by Bloomberg News yesterday, the group, which has more than 1,000 outlets in 23 countries, was talking to advisers and in the early stages of considering selling shares in the company as a means of raising new funds

However, the company moved quickly to play down the report, with a spokesperson telling The Telegraph: “Speculation about a Nando’s IPO is incorrect, nor are they currently considering fundraising. Nando’s is a privately owned business that is still owned by the entrepreneurs who set up the business in the first place.”

The group currently operates c400 sites in the UK and it is thought that it will add a further c15 sites to its estate here over the coming 12 months.

In November, Nando’s cemented its status as the most popular chain restaurant at lunch and dinner with a strong performance in Q3, according the latest MCA data.

MCA’s Eating Out Panel Q3 report showed Nando’s best performance was at lunchtime, where it grew share by 3.2 percentage points (pps) to claim an 11.1% share of visits – almost double that of its nearest competitor, PizzaExpress, which fell 3.2pps.

At dinner Nando’s saw a 1.1pps rise to a 13.4% share while second and third placed PizzaExpress and Frankie & Benny’s both lost share.