Plans to merge bar and restaurant group Living Ventures and Bank Restaurants have failed.
Tim Bacon, founder of Living Ventures, confirmed that discussions had taken place but said the deal had fallen through because of opposition from a major Bank shareholder.
"It's a pity because Bank fits in with the way we want to develop our product and they don't have a lot of places to go at the moment," he said.
Bank chairman Leigh Collins wouldn't say whether talks had taken place.
Chester-based Living Ventures, which operates 15 units with sales of £30m last year, remained upbeat. The group is set to open up to four London outlets next year and rebrand its Smithfield Living Room site into a 140-seat bar and grill specialising in beef during August.
The two new London sites will be in Leadenhall Street in the City, and Heddon Street, W1.
The other two sites haven't yet been confirmed.
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 29 July 2004