Private equity firm 3i is eyeing a £200m sale of Agent Provocateur and is holding a beauty parade of bankers to manage the auction.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs is tipped to have been sounded out, Sky News reports.

Luxury lingerie Agent Provocateur, which is known for its risqué designs, has been owned by 3i since 2007 when it paid £60m for the business.

It was founded by Joseph Corré, the son of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, and his wife at the time, Serena Rees.

Rees left at the time of the sale to 3i while Corré stepped down in 2009 but still holds a minority stake in the company.

Agent Provocateur has 88 stores around the world, including stores in Milan, Hong Kong and Sydney.

Pre-tax profit hit £3.7m last year as sales rose 24.5% to £39m.