Tiger Tiger Owner Toasts Takeover

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The banks which control the Tiger Tiger bar chain are in advanced talks to sell its parent company to two private equity firms, Sky News has learned.

Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) and Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS.L - news) , which took control of Novus Leisure after its previous owner, Cognetas, ran into financial difficulties, are closing in on a sale to LGV Capital and Hutton Collins.

A deal could be struck within the next week, people close to the talks say.

Novus, which also owns the Balls Brothers and Jewel chains of bars, has performed strongly despite the broad downturn in consumer spending.

LGV, which is part of the insurance group Legal & General (LSE: LGEN.L - news) , owns two other pub groups: Amber Taverns, which buys pubs which have been closed down and are in deprived areas, and Liberation Group, which owns nearly 70 pubs in the Channel Islands.

Hutton Collins has backed a number of leisure industry buyouts, including Caffe Nero, the coffee bar chain, and Wagamama, the restaurant group.

The Novus auction has been handled by bankers at Rothschild. Nobody involved in the talks was available to comment.