The Caterer

Electra in talks to buy Urbium

18 August 2005
Electra in talks to buy Urbium

Private equity group Electra Partners is in exclusive talks to buy nightclub and bar operator Urbium. A source close to the deal said Electra and the Tiger Tiger operator were discussing a deal that valued the company at about £114m (£10.75 per share).

Urbium has confirmed it is in exclusive due diligence discussions with one potential buyer, but has refused to name it. Speculation over the weekend boosted Urbium's share value by 11% by close of play on Monday (15 August).

John Conlan, chairman of the 29-strong chain, said: "We have one party that we are talking to, but the process will take between three and four weeks."

The bidding process for Urbium began last month after pub and bar group Regent Inns tabled a bid of 975p per share.

Regent's offer was rejected but Urbium asked adviser Numis Securities to evaluate other offers, including a proposal from private equity group Alchemy Partners.

Electra previously owned the Tom Cobleigh pub group and failed in a bid to buy Barracuda in June.

Electra declined to comment.

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