The executive directors of Prezzo, the quoted casual dining group, are in talks to take the business private.
Led by chief executive Jonathan Kaye, a potential management buyout team are in discussions with banks and independent directors about a possible offer.
In a statement to the stock exchange, the company said that certain members of its board had made a preliminary approach seeking permission to explore the possibility of making an offer for the company.
John Lederer, the managing director of Blanc Brasseries and a non-executive at Prezzo, has been appointed to chair a committee that will represent the interests of independent shareholders, and will assess any offers.
The group’s biggest shareholder is Phillip Kaye, Jonathan Kaye’s uncle, and founder of the Golden Egg and Garfunkel’s chains, who controls more than 47%.
Jonathan Kaye owns 3.44% of the shares while Adam Kaye, who co-founded the ASK restaurant chain, has 3.53%.
The business is currently capitalised at £103.19m and has debts of about £20m, equating to a current enterprise value of £123m.
It operates 130 sites under a clutch of brands including the Chimichanga Mexican format, Ultimate Burger and its eponymous pizza and pasta concept.
Last year it produced ebitda of £13.6m on sales of £70.1m.