The UK’s largest bagel chain has been placed on the market for £2m, receiving a wealth of potential takeover bids.

As reported by M&C Report, Bagel Factory is looking for an outright sale or an injection of a new investment to develop the brand’s growth.

A spokesperson from Coffer Corporate Leisure, who is advising the group on the move, spoke to British Baker on the sale of the national bagel chain. He said that the business had been pleasantly surprised by the response of offers currently on the table, with interest from private equity firms, along with trade buyers operating in train stations offering healthier alternatives to fast food.

In addition, he mentioned how it was early days for the company to make a decision, but Bagel Factory was looking to make an announcement in the next couple of weeks.

The brand opened its first site in London back in 1997 and currently operates 14 outlets in England and 40 franchise units in Ireland. The majority of its sites are based in transport hubs.

In August 2008, Bagel Factory acquired its five-strong rival Oi! Bagel, for an undisclosed sum off an asking price understood to be around £1m. However, the group closed five of its own sites this year with four outlets making a loss. The company has plans to close a further two before the end of 2011, with a further unit set to close next year.

Bagel Factory is currently owned by a group of private investors, including the company’s chairman Geoff Westmore, former global head of M&A at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He holds a stake in the business through investment vehicle Subito Partners.

The chain reported pre-tax profits of £148,524 for the year to 25 September 2010, against a pre-tax loss of £350,635 in the previous year. Operating profit stood at £149,066 compared to a loss of £351,160 in 2009 and turnover declined from £6.194m in 2009 to £5.287m last year.