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French chain Groupe Flo to be sold

13 December 2005 by

Groupe Flo, the 165-strong chain of bistros, is to become the third major French restaurant company to be sold this year as French catering companies attempt to establish themselves on the world stage.

Belgian financier Albert Frere is joining forces with investment company Tikehau Capital to pay €137m (£92.3m) for a two-thirds share. Finance firm Butler Capital Partners and the Bucher family are selling up.

The main brands operated by Groupe Flo are its 38 Italian-themed Bistro Romains and the 79-strong steakhouse chain Hippopotamus.

It also runs some of the most famous brasseries in Paris. Among its 20 restaurants in the French capital are La Coupole, Petit Bofinger and a number of variations on the Flo theme.

By Andrew Sangster

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