Private equity group Permira is reportedly putting its Little Chef roadside restaurant chain up for sale.

Permira acquired the chain last year when it bought Travelodge, but has decided to focus on the hotel business. The company has not put a price tag on the restaurant chain, but analysts believe it could fetch up to £50m (US$94.4m), reported The Times.

The Little Chef chain consists of 297 company-operated restaurants, as well as 40 franchised outlets at Moto motorway service stations. Travelodge apparently plans to retain the 115 outlets located beside its motels.

Earlier this year Little Chef scrapped plans to replace its chef logo with a slimmer version because of public opposition to the idea.

"We still get 20 million customers a year and the outcry over the slimmed-down logo shows its enduring appeal. It was always our intention to separate it out and sell it to focus on our lodge business," Grant Hearn, Travelodge chief executive, was quoted by The Times as saying.