CatererSearch can exclusively reveal that Von Essen hotel group has made a bid in excess of £30m for Luxury Family Hotels (LFH) by the end of the month.
Von Essen said it had entered preliminary discussions which might, or might not, lead to an offer for the group worth £2.70 per share.
The total value of the bid remains undisclosed.
A spokeswoman for LFH confirmed the offer was "very good" and the company hoped to launch it to shareholders within weeks. "I'm sure shareholders will be delighted," she said.
LFH denied that it had any plans to sell the group prior to Von Essen's approach but would now consider every offer beneficial to shareholders.
Nicholas Romano, operations director, said: "If we say we're going to do something we do it."
A spokesperson for Von Essen added: "LFH is an exceptional brand and] we are delighted to be including them in our collection."
LFH was founded by Nigel Chapman and Nicholas Dickinson in 1993. The group now employs more than 400 staff and has an annual turnover in excess of £10m.
Chapman and Nicholas also founded Alias hotels group in 1999.
Von Essen, founded in 1996 by entrepreneur Andrew Davis, consists of 17 three- to five-star hotels - including legendary properties such as Cliveden in Berkshire and Sharrow Bay in Cumbria.
By Jessica Gunn
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