Noodle bar chain Wagamama has pulled out of discussions with a second venture capital firm, it has been confirmed.
Sources close to the company said it had withdrawn from the proposed deal with Apax Partners - who had emerged as the likely partner following the withdrawal of investment group Hutton Collins last month.
Analysts now believe the company is highly unlikely to return to its original plan to float on the Alternative Investment Market.
A trade sale is now a more probable option for Wagamama, with companies such as PizzaExpress owner TDR and The Restaurant Group mentioned as possible buyers, alongside high-street pub groups.
Venture capital firm Graphite, majority shareholder in Wagamama, was unavailable for comment.
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