Industry insiders say Myriad Childrenswear Group is close to announcing a buyer for the business, which includes kid's chain Adams.
Private equity company Bridgepoint Capital, which owns about 60% of Myriad, put the group on the market just before Christmas and appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers to handle the sale.
Myriad, which owns Adams Kids and manufactures Tu kidswear for Sainsbury's and Mini Mode for Boots, has struggled to keep up with its high street and supermarket rivals. It has 330 kidswear stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland and more than 100 franchises in 14 countries, most of which trade as Adams.
Trading is thought to have been tough for the retailer and its contract to produce Sainsbury's Tu kidswear ends in September. One industry insider told Drapers that a buyer is likely to be announced within weeks and more than one bidder has shown an interest.
Myriad recently hired Tony Bottomley, a former UK head of kidswear brand house CWF, on a consultancy basis to look at the potential of expanding its brand licensing and brand development business. The move is believed to have been an attempt to attract potential buyers.
Adams made a loss of £13.8m on sales of £215.4m for the year to July 2005. In October last year, marketing director Ronnie Helvey said group like-for-like sales were up 8.3%, with Adams sales up 4.3%.