Specialist electrical group Maplin has asked potential buyers to submit informal offers before Christmas, it is understood.

Maplin, owned by Montagu Private Equity, hired KPMG in September to review strategic options including a sale.

The retailer has held talks with a small number of potential bidders including private equity and trade buyers. Maplin has not asked for any detailed proposals or figures, Dow Jones reported. The retailer is expected to provide further information to interested parties after Christmas.

Montagu bought Maplin for £244 m in September 2004. The retailer reported EBITDA of £40m for 2009.