A Chinese textile firm called Shantex is reported to be among a group of potential bidders for the high street clothing chain Phase Eight.
Sources told Sky News that Shantex and a number of other private equity firms are interested in the business, which has been valued at approximately £300m by its current owners. If Shantex were successful, this would be its first acquisition of a major overseas retail business.
It is understood that Phase Eight has been put up for sale by its private equity owner Towerbrook, which bought a 60% stake in the retailer for £80m in 2011. The remaining 40% is said to be owned by the retailer’s management.
The negotiations are thought to be in the early stages and a deal is not expected until later in the year.
In September, Drapers reported that Towerbrook appointed Rothschild to advise on the sale of the business.
Phase Eight has a portfolio of more than 400 stores, including 98 outside of the UK in countries including Switzerland and Germany, in addition to being sold in department stores such as John Lewis.
The retailer reported sales increased by 15% to £141m in the full year to February 1, 2014, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and administration increased 16% to £24m.