Elior chief executive Robert Zolade is to launch a bid to take the company private due to its poor showing on the stock market.
In a statement to the French stock market yesterday, Zolade said: "Despite Elior's strong position in its areas of activity and its regular growth, the company's stock market performance has been disappointing."
Zolade is seeking to take the company over through his investment vehicle Holding Bercy Investissement at €13.40 (£9.25) per share.
But Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein analyst Karl Green believes private equity players may also be circling the company.
But we think there is zero chance of Compass or Sodexho counterbidding as both are now pretty much ideologically opposed to concessions catering."
An Elior UK spokesman said it was too early to say what effect any buyout would have on the business in this country.
By Tom Bill