Hong Kong private equity investment company Lion Rock Capital is believed to be one of two remaining companies in the running to take a majority stake in troubled, family-owned shoe retailer Clarks.
The rival bidder is Alteri Investors.
According to Sky News UK, a sale would bring to an end 195 years of full family ownership, although it is believed neither bidder would assume full ownership of the company and may be limited to just 50 per cent.
Clarks is in the process of implementing a restructuring program called Made to Last, which would result in the net loss of around 700 jobs. It would also require an investment of between £100 million and £150 million in funding.
The company has not commented on the latest report other than to confirm it is “currently reviewing options to best position our business, our people and the Clarks brand for future long-term growth”.
Sales in the UK’s 345 stores have been heavily impacted by the advent of the Covid-19 crisis.