The outcome of the sale process of footwear retailer Faith was due to be announced as Drapers went to press.
Interested parties included private equity firms Epic and Endless, investment and restructuring firms Hilco and GA Asset Advisors, and sportswear retailer Sports Direct.
Faith boss John Kinnaird, who co-owned the now defunct Dolcis chain with Epic, this week vowed to remain at the helm of the chain and said he planned to outbid all rival suitors.
Kinnaird told Drapers: “We have the benefit of being a shareholder.”
Sources close to the situation said the business - which is thought to be profitable to the tune of £3m - could be valued at somewhere between £5m and £7m.
Details of bids on the table are unknown, but it is understood that some are based on the purchase of debt at a discount. It is thought that the entire sale process is being forced by Faith’s debt position. The retailer has debts of about £14m owed to Barclays, investor Agilo and management led by Kinnaird.
Debenhams is likely to eye the sale process closely, given that the majority of Faith’s profit is driven by its concessions business within the department store chain.
Faith operates 78 shops and 120 concessions, mainly in Debenhams. Kinnaird bought Faith out of administration in 2008. It was once owned by private equity firm Bridgepoint, which paid £64m for the business in 2004.