RESTAURANT chain The Ivy has been put up for auction with a £1billion price tag. 

The premium restaurant group’s owner Richard Caring has put his 50 per cent share of the business out to auction. 

He co-owns The Ivy Group with former Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad Bin-Jassim Bin-Jaber Al Thani. 

It comes just weeks after it was reported The Ivy may not be coming to Bournemouth town centre following two years of speculation. 

A source told the Echo that bosses at the firm decided the town “did not align” with the brand after seeing anti-social behaviour outside Tesco in Bourne Avenue, next to where the restaurant was destined for. 

Read more: The Ivy in Bournemouth town centre: Will it ever open?

BCP Council leader Vikki Slade told the Echo that the agreement is between a private business and a private landlord, meaning the council is not involved. 

She later took to social media to reveal that she had “heard it was cancelled ages ago”. 

The Ivy has continuously ignored requests for information from the Echo. 

According to The Times newspaper, HSBC has started to share market documents with interested parties for the Ivy Collection. 

The Ivy opened as a cafe in 1917 in London’s West End.  

When it was revealed The Ivy had applied for planning permission to move into Bournemouth, it was welcomed as an “injection of positivity” for the town centre, which had seen several big retailers and department stores close.