Dwell’s founder is among potential buyers circling the troubled furniture chain after it emerged last week it has hired advisors to find a buyer.
Retail Week has learned that Aamir Ahmad, who founded Dwell in 2003, is putting together a bid to buy the chain after departing the business six months ago. Although the credibility of his approach is not yet known, one source said he was backed by “wealthy individuals”.
Ahmad remains a creditor of the business, along with others including private equity firm Key Capital Partners.
Restructuring firms including GA Europe are also thought to be looking at the business. Sources said a deal could be done through a pre-pack administration process, although advisers Argyll Partners are aiming to avoid this, it is thought.
Sources told Retail Week that a deal looked likely to be done “sooner rather than later”.
Dwell has suffered a turbulent 12 months, with the departure of its chairman Neil McCausland as well Ahmad, who was replaced by former Adams Childrenswear boss Rebecca Cotterell.
Pre-tax losses widened from £456,349 to £675,320 in the year to January 27, 2012. It is thought large overheads including an oversized warehouse hit performance.
However, turnover rose 3% to £34.5m over the period after the retailer opened six stores.
Ahmad and GA Europe declined to comment. Dwell could not be reached.