SFI Group is to focus on talks with bidders interested in buying the whole company.
The Slug & Lettuce and Litten Tree operator has been reviewing a number of bids in the wake of a decision to put the company on the market. It is believed that at least three bids have been tabled for the whole of SFI.
A number of bids for the company involve acquiring Slug & Lettuce, the most profitable part of the business. But chief executive Stuart Lawson said bids for the "whole business" would be looked at first.
He dismissed reports that SFI had 50 loss-making sites the figure was more like 15 and reported core debt had reduced to £66.8m (from £70m) plus a £10m overdraft facility.
Lawson said: "Total company sales are up 1% on a like-for-like basis and our Ebitda is up on last year. We are [experiencing] very positive growth in Slug and good food growth overall. We are in a very stable position."
The sale of SFI is complicated by the fact that it is now part-owned by a group of debt-trading companies.
Further complications have been caused by the fact that one bidder, Robert Tchenguiz, has been seeking to buy a second SFI bidder, Yates Group owner GI Partners.