The announcement came in a statement of full results for 2005, which are generally good, though drycleaning revenue is down 2.7% on a like for like basis, a result attributed to weakening consumer demand.

Asked for comment on the approach, chief executive Stuart Graham told LCNi that enquiries about parts of the group were a routine part of business life. One enterprise had asked to take a closer look at the drycleaning business. Confidentiality and exclusivity agreements had been signed relating to the approach had been signed last week (ending 10 March).

However Graham stressed the preliminary nature of the enquiry and that an offer may or may not result. In the meantime, he said, everything continues as normal.

If nothing came of this approach, “we will not be actively seeking other offers and did not seek this one.”