Investment company Imbiba Partnership, which backs the Drake & Morgan restaurant and bar chain, is exploring further investment opportunities in the sector, after making an approach for the seven-strong Black & Blue business.
The company, which is the investment vehicle of serial entrepreneur John Connell and includes City analyst Mark Brumby on the board, is thought to have entered talks for Black & Blue, the London-based steak restaurant chain owned by Alan Bacon and Nick Hill, but was unable to agree a deal for the £11m-valued business.
However, it has not ruled out making a fresh approach for the chain. It is thought that, if successful, Imbiba would seek to roll out the Black & Blue brand.
Black & Blue currently operates five restaurants in the capital under its eponymous brand, plus the Archduke restaurant and wine bar on the South Bank and the recently-bought Picasso coffee bar and restaurant
Bacon and Hill, who built up the Tootsies business before they sold it to Andrew Bonnell in 1999, opened the first Black & Blue 11 years ago in Kensington.
The chain is one of several investment opportunities Imbiba is exploring across the capital.