There is still appetite for retail deals
For sale signs have been hoisted over Evans Cycles and Americana International, proving there is still appetite for retail deals.

Evans Cycles managing director Mike Rice said: 'The shareholders and directors are in the early stages of investigating potential partners,' to enable Evans Cycles to accelerate expansion.

The retailer's sales were£25.2 million for the year to October 31, 2005. Operating profit was£973,555. It has 25 stores, mainly in London and the Southeast.

Halfords is likely to be among bidders for Evans, which is a competitor to its new Bike Hut fascia, which made its debut in December.

Separately, Isis Equity, which bought Americana for£20 million in 2003, is thought to be circulating a book on the business. Americana owns 10-store fashion chain Westworld, as well as the Bench and Hooch brands.

Chairman David Brock is believed to be planning a secondary buy-out of the business. He completed a similar deal with Phase Eight last week, where he is also chairman.

Americana's operating profit was£15.1 million on a turnover of£53.2 million for the year to June 25, 2005.

Other retailers that private equity players expect to come to market soon include Brighthouse and M and M Direct.

Potential investors are also circling troubled businesses such as Adams and Focus.

Childrenswear retailer Adams is understood to have entered exclusive talks with one party. Exclusivity is believed to end on Monday, but it was unclear whether a sale will be achieved by then.

Potential buyers for Focus DIY have been sounded out, but no decision has been made about whether the business will be sold.