Mitchells & Butlers has announced that a number of companies are looking into a potential takeover of the business.
The group, that runs All Bar One and O'Neills, has been under pressure after a bet on interest rates cost it £274m earlier in the week.
Confirmation of the interest sent shares in M&B up by 17 per cent, giving the company a stock market value of around £1.9bn.
A statement issued to the London Stock Exchange said: "The Board confirms that a number of parties have now made preliminary and tentative expressions of interest in the Company to Citi, its adviser.
"However, no discussions have taken place and there can be no certainty that any will take place."