Womenswear business Aurora Fashions is considering a spin-off of its Coast fascia in order to improve the prospects of selling the chain.
Although it is understood that Aurora, which also owns womenswear chains Warehouse and Oasis, has no imminent plans to start a sale process for either Coast or Karen Millen, its continued devolvement of the brands will help the group to sell them in the future.
Separately, it has been speculated that Aurora chief executive Mike Shearwood could be considering a management buy-out of the Karen Millen chain.
Coast has 41 standalone stores and 166 concessions in the UK as well as 109 stores overseas.
Aurora is majority-owned by the failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing and was formed after the collapse of the now defunct Mosaic Fashions in March 2009.
The group’s profits fell by 15.3% to £12.7m in the year to February 2012 which was largely attributed to the underperformance of its premium womenswear brand Bastyan.
Last month, the group said that Meg Lustman, the managing director of Warehouse, was stepping down although she could remain on its board for a while longer.