Tiger Tiger bar owner Urbium - which also owns Birmingham's Digress Bar on Newhall Street - saw its share price surge 12 per cent after confirmation that it was locked in exclusive takeover talks.
Urbium said a string of bid approaches had now been narrowed to just one party that is willing to pay " significantly" more than £96 million to land control.
That suitor is believed to be private equity group Electra Partners, which reports suggest was offering more than £10.75 a share in cash.
A spokeswoman for Electra Partners in London refused to comment.
A formal bid at that price would value Urbium at £114 million and justify why its directors rebuffed a proposal worth 975p a share from Walkabout owner Regent Inns earlier this summer.
Last month, Urbium revealed it was examining a number of approaches from potential bidders.
In a statement yesterday , Urbium said: "Following an evaluation of the second stage offers which were at a price significantly ahead of the closing share price of Urbium on Friday, a preferred party has been selected to carry out confirmatory diligence with a view to making a firm offer to shareholders."
London-based Urbium has 29 UK outlets, including eight Tiger Tiger bars. Last year the company pulled its Apt/Polaris club out of Birmingham's Broad Street and sold 52 Degrees North in Hurst Street.
Electra Partners has a spread of investments in the UK and this year completed the £170 million acquisition of Covenant Healthcare, a provider of cosmetic surgery and psychiatric care.
It also backed the £202.5 million management buy-out of security specialist and prison escort service Global Solutions last year.
Shares closed up 105 at 1010p.