Hobbs has appointed corporate advisor PricewaterhouseCoopers, sparking speculation that the womenswear retailer is preparing for a sale.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, sources indicate that any takeover could value the business at between £200m and £250m.
Hobbs chairman Iain MacRitchie told the Telegraph, however, that PwC had been appointed to advise the retailer on expansion plans over the next two years and was not looking to trigger a sale process immediately.
MacRitchie said that Hobbs will focus on expanding the brand online and internationally. He told The Telegraph: “PwC are devoting considerable resource to help us develop our online capabilities, supply chain and introduce us to international trading partners.”
Hobbs, whose brands include Hobbs London, NW3 and Hobbs Invitation, came under the control of 3i in 2004 in a deal which valued the retailer at £111m.
Last year, Hobbs secured £14m of new investment from its private equity backer 3i, parachuting in turnaround specialist MacRitchie to replace retail veteran Tony Campbell as chairman.