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Novus pulls out of race to buy Drake & Morgan

By M&C Report , 31-Jan-2013
Last updated on 31-Jan-2013 at 08:26 GMT2013-01-31T08:26:37Z

Drake & Morgan is a target for private equity buyers

Drake & Morgan is a target for private equity buyers

Novus Leisure, the premium bar and restaurant operator, has pulled out of the running to acquire the highly bar-restaurant operator Drake & Morgan (D&M), M&C Report believes.

It is understood Novus had got through to the second round of bidding for the five-strong chain and offered £17m for the Jillian McLean-led business.

M&C believes one or two private-equity players are now left in the running for the Imbiba Partnership-backed group.

Drake & Morgan appointed PwC to review its strategic options for the next stage of its growth last year. It is thought that the group is hoping to realise a price closer to the high teens/£20m mark.

With Novus having left the table, a McLean-led, private equity-backed management buyout of the group looks the likelier end result, although there have been suggestions that the business could be taken off the market and left to continue its steady expansion in the capital if price expectations are not met.