Carluccio's today announced that it is no longer in takeover talks, after discussions with a mystery bidder collapsed.
The Italian restaurant chain earlier this month announced that it had received a takeover approach by an unnamed company, later identified by the Sunday Times as private equity group Hatton Collins.
However, in a statement today, Carluccio's said: "On 5 May 2009, the board of Carluccio's announced that it had received a preliminary approach. Discussions in relation to this preliminary approach have now been terminated and the company is therefore no longer in an offer period."
Reports have suggested that the talks fell apart over price, while analysts said Carluccio's may have been put off by the prospect of carrying debt.
Carluccio's last week reported a 12% fall in half-year profits, after pressure on costs and falling consumer spending hit margins.
Announcing results for the six-months to 29 March, Carluccio's revealed that pre-tax profit had slipped to £2.5m compared with £2.8m a year before.
The company, which operates 42 stores in the UK and aboard, said it has been hit hard by Sterling's weakness against the Euro, as many of its products are imported directly from Italy.
By Kerstin Kühn
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