Spanish restaurant group Grupo Zena has reportedly entered the running for the £100m auction of UK-owned tapas bar chain La Tasca.
The Madrid-based company, controlled by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, has joined Café Rouge owner Tragus and Icelandic bank Kaupthing in the bidding for Bolton-based La Tasca, according to The Times.
Grupo Zena, which CVC bought in March 2001, has more than 400 restaurants, of which about two-thirds are owned and the rest franchised.
CVC is known to have been casting its eye over several possible acquisitions ahead of a possible sale or flotation of Grupo Zena.
One analyst told The Times: "CVC has for some time been trying to beef up Grupo Zena ahead of an exit. The UK is known to be on its radar screen."
In addition to its core La Tasca brand, which accounts for 60 of its 71 outlets, the group has eight La Viña outlets and three grill and smokehouse eateries called Sam & Maxie's.
By Daniel Thomas
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