Confectionery retailer Hotel Chocolat is reviving its bid to sell a significant minority share in the £100m business this year.
The chocolatier and cocoa grower is understood to have appointed advisory firm PwC to examine market appetite for a £30m to £40m raise in equity, according to the Telegraph.
Hotel Chocolat founders Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris are keen to remain majority owners in the company.
The 70-store retailer is understood to want to raise funding to allow the co-owners to take some cash out of the business, expand into Asia and roll out its dining operation.
Hotel Chocolat recently expanded by opening Roast & Conch cafes, which serve freshly roasted cocoa-based drinks and food, and launched a restaurant, Rabot 1745, in London’s trendy Borough Market in November.
The stake sale process is understood to be at a very early stage.
Mid-market private equity firms such as Graphite, Phoenix and LDC are expected to show an interest in Hotel Chocolat.
Last year Hotel Chocolat received an unsolicited approach to take a stake in the business but a deal failed to materialise.