Value fashion retailer Bonmarché is reportedly gearing up to float on the stock exchange 18 months after it fell into administration.

It is believed that Bonmarche owner Sun European Partners has appointed bankers from Investec to lead an IPO at some point during the next 12 months, according to Sky News.

The 261-store retailer, which was acquired by private equity firm Sun European in January 2012 through a pre-pack administration, notched up sales of £170.3m in the 12 months to March 31, its first year under new ownership.

Bonmarche was previously owned by Peacocks Group, which collapsed into administration last year before eventually being acquired by Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

After completing its “recovery phase” in the last 12 months, including renegotiating the rents on existing stores, Bonmarché chief financial officer Stephen Alldridge told Retail Week this week that the retailer is now ready to expand its store portfolio.

Bonmarché, which sells womensear aimed at the over 50s, is eyeing stores in major towns and cities including Aberdeen, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow and Nottingham and has hired property agent Capa to advise it on expansion.

Sun European Partners declined comment.