Casual dining chain Ed's Easy Diner could imminently be sold off in a quickie sale for as little as £15m, according to reports.
The hard-and-fast sale will probably take the form of a pre-pack administration could be announced in the coming days after the group suffered a trading slump over the summer, sources told The Times.
Ed's management team brought in KPMG last month after a plummet in like-for-like sales, though a few months ago the company hired financial advisory firm AlixPartners to advise on a potential company voluntary arrangement to offload certain loss-making sites.
Rutland Partners and Rcapital are two of the groups tipped as among the latest buyers for Ed's.
At the beginning of the year, it was reported the group was up for sale, while in February chief executive Ivan Schofield stepped down from the helm of the chain and was immediately replaced by his predecessor Andrew Guy.
Guy has been working in an advisory capacity for the 1950s-style diner chain. Over the summer he said Ed's would be "pausing for breath" on further expansion.
The company's first diner opened in Soho in 1987. In 2008 Ed's had three diners, all situated in London, but by June 2015 there were 41 branches in multiple cities.
Ed's Easy Diner, Rutland and Rcapital have been contacted for comment.