Shares in The Restaurant Group (TRG) leapt by over 11% yesterday amid speculation that private equity groups were considering bids for the Frankie & Benny’s operator, which has seen its shares halve since the start of the year.

Sky News reported that Cinven, the former owner of PizzaExpress, Byron, ASK and Zizzi; and TA Associates were running the rule over the Chiquito and Coast to Coast owner.

Speculation has also increased that Apollo, owner of TRG’s rival Casual Dining Group, is also mulling a bid for the listed operator.

Shares in TRG ended the day yesterday at 335.40p, up 5.44% on the day, giving the company a market capitalisation of £639.5m.

On the back of its profit warning last month, leading analyst Simon French at Cenkos said he thought it was inevitable that private equity (e.g. TPG, Bridgepoint, BC Partners) would seek to consolidate TRG’s existing operations to deliver synergies from the its c£40m central cost base and exploit the under leveraged balance sheet.