French catering group Flo, which runs the Hippotamus and Bistro Romain restaurant chains and a number of renowned Parisian brasseries, is to be sold to a consortium of investors led by Belgian financier Albert Frère, subject to regulatory approval.

Flo’s major shareholders, the Bucher family and investment group Butler Capital Partners, have agreed on a sale price of EUR37m (US$44m).

Flo’s current president, Dominique Giraudier, who in 2004 succeeded in returning the company to profit after three years in the red, is expected to continue at the helm.

The deal is being widely viewed as the latest example of a family-run firm in the French restaurant/catering sector being sold to investment funds, the most significant being the sale Buffalo Grill to Colony Capital in July this year.