Crew Clothing is on the cusp of being sold to US-based clothing manufacturer Exquisite Apparel, Retail Week has learned.

The retailer’s founder and major shareholder Alistair Parker-Swift is understood to have agreed to sell his stake in the UK-based firm after a management buyout offer was rejected.

Private equity firm Livingbridge, which has owned 25% of the chain since 2006, is also in advanced negotiations to offload its shareholding.

Exquisite Apparel, fronted by chief executive Michael Shina, currently produces branded clothing, such as Tommy Hilfiger, under licence for retail titan Walmart.

Retail Week understands that David Butler, who previously worked at BHS, Echo and MAF fashion, has been drafted in by Exquisite Apparel to advise on the UK market.

A Crew Clothing spokesman said: “As a company, we don’t comment on rumour or market speculation.”