Alteri Investors is reportedly in advanced talks to buy Jones Bootmaker and Brantano UK from Dutch parent retail group Macintosh.
The talks may have some way to run but a deal could be announced within days, a source has told Sky News.
In April, Macintosh appointed banking firm BNP Paribas to find a buyer for the two footwear firms, which it aimed to sell as one business. Brantano has 170 stores and concessions and Jones Bootmaker has 120 shops and concessions in the UK.
The London-based European retail investment fund provided a new debt facility to help fund the takeover of German fashion house Basler Fashion Group in June and provided Austin Reed with a three-year loan in May.
Alteri was formed last October as a joint venture between US private equity group Apollo Global Management and Gavin George, former chief executive of restructuring specialist GA Europe, to invest in struggling retailers on the UK high street.
George declined to comment on the Sky News report.
Macintosh confirmed it has received second round offers, which it said were at the “low end” of the range it originally expected. Based on these offers, it expects to make a loss of between €40m (£29.5m) and €50m (£36.9m) on the sale.
However, it insisted there was “no assurance” any of the current offers would result in a transaction.
Macintosh’s Fashion UK arm, which is comprised of Jones and Brantano UK, reported sales of €112.9m (£83.5m) in the first six months of 2015, with an underlying EBITDA loss of €3.9m (£2.9m).