European style coffee shop Caffe Nero added about £15 million to its value yesterday after a takeover approach from its founder.
Shares in the London-based firm soared ten per cent to value it at £165 million after "an informal approach" from founder and chief executive Gerry Ford.
In a statement to the stockmarket, Caffe Nero said the approach from the American could lead to an offer but that "matters are at a very early stage".
It added: "The company is not yet in receipt of any indicative offer."
Shares in Caffe Nero have fallen from as high as 255p in February to 184p in June but shot up to 243p after the announcement was made.
Mr Ford, aged 48, set up Caffe Nero in 1997 - a year before Starbucks came to the UK - and it now has 285 stores making it the third biggest coffee chain in the UK behind Starbucks and Costa Coffee.
Once given the accolade of having "the best espresso this side of Milan", Caffe Nero also specialises in Italian deli food.
It floated on the London stock market in 2001 and in May this year the company said it delivered "another steady and encouraging performance" with 4.5 per cent like-for-like sales growth in the second half.