Pret A Manger, the highly regarded UK coffee and food-bar operator, has quelled talk of an acquisition of a chain of sandwich bars in France. While the group, which is led by Clive Schlee, is widely believed to be considering a move into the French market, it has denied reports that it is in talks to buy a domestic business as a springboard. Last week Le Figaro, the French daily newspaper, reported that Pret had held talks with a number of businesses, including Pomme de Pain, Class’croute and La Croissanterie. A source at the company told The Times newspaper: “There has been no contact with any of those companies – or any others in France, for that matter.” Le Figaro suggested that Pret was eying an acquisition of a company with more than 100 stores.