Property tycoon Richard Caring, the investor behind the Ivy, Le Caprice and J Sheekey is building a stake in casual dining chain Carluccio's.
Caring sold Strada to Café Rouge owner Tragus for £140m in June, less than a month after buying a 3% holding in rival Carluccio's and has continued to build his share in the chain which now stands at 12%.
Since that move reports have persisted that Caring is preparing a bid for the restaurant chain.
"Carluccio's is worthy of a premium valuation within the restaurant sector given its hybrid retail/ cafe model, its broad mass market appeal, its low price points and sector leading sales per unit.
"With only 34 units currently we see substantial further growth opportunities both in the UK and overseas."
By Christopher Walton
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