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Phoenix in running for LK Bennett

Private equity firms Phoenix Equity Partners and Golden Gate Capital are understood to be vying to buy fashion and footwear retailer LK Bennett

According to the Daily Telegraph private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners, which has previously invested in Jimmy Choo, is one of two of the remaining bidders for shoe business LK Bennett.

Both are thought to be in the final round of the auction for the business, said people familiar with the situation.

The private equity firms have been in advanced talks to buy the shoe chain for the last two weeks.

A decision by Linda Bennett, the founder of the company, on whether to do a deal with either Phoenix or San Francisco-based Golden Gate could be made in the next fortnight.

However, it is thought some offers for LK Bennett have been pitched at a lower level than the £100m founder Linda Bennett had wanted.

LK Bennett was put up for sale at the end of last year. Bennett had tried to sell the business four years earlier but pulled the plug after poor Christmas trading meant offers fell short of the £75 million asking price.

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