Foodservice giant 3663 could be sold by its South African owner, with a number of private equity groups thought to be circling.

South African conglomerate Bidvest said yesterday it had received bids worth up to $4bn (£2.5bn) for its foodservice arm, which includes 3663 in the UK.

“Bidvest believes the foodservice business is an attractive business with strong growth prospects,” it said in a statement.

“However, in light of the proposals received, the board has appointed a committee to undertake a strategic review of the foodservice business… to explore whether any of the proposals would optimise value for Bidvest shareholders.

3663’s foodservice rival Brakes was sold to Bain Capital in 2007 in a deal worth around £1.3bn.