The Azzurri Group, the Bridgepoint-backed operator of ASK and Zizzi, has received approaches from a number of private equity firms.

The Times reported the potential bid interest this morning, saying that Bridgepoint was open to offers that might provide a good return.

MCA understands that no process has begun and that Azzurri has not appointed advisors in response to the unsolicited bids.

A source told MCA: “It’s no real surprise – Bridgepoint are a supportive backer but of course they would listen to offers. Azzurri has two brands that are trading very well and in this space there are not too many companies that can say that.”

Bridgepoint acquired the Azzurri Group in a £250m deal in 2015.

The 293-strong group is understood to have continued to trade strongly since its most recent update in October, when it reported its fifth consecutive year of like-for-like sales and earnings growth.

The Azzurri Group declined to comment when approached by MCA.