Footwear chain Dune has launched a bid to rescue LK Bennett from administration.

The Dune Group, which operates around 50 stores in the UK, is among a number of parties to have lodged bids for the fashion chain which collapsed earlier this month, according to Sky News.

It is not known how much Dune has offered for the business.

LK Bennett administrator EY is said to be assessing the offers and is expected to select a preferred buyer within days. However, the identity of the other bidders is currently unknown.

Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley was linked with a bid earlier this month, having already acquired House of Fraser and Evans Cycles out of administration.

The battle to buy LK Bennett was sparked after its founder, Linda Bennett, drafted in advisers from AlixPartners to assess restructuring options for the business following a turbulent period of trading.

But that appointment proved short-lived and EY was ultimately called in three weeks ago to handle the administration process.

EY axed 55 jobs with immediate effect, streamlining LK Bennett’s head office operations and closing five stores.

But EY joint administrator Dan Hurd said he was hopeful that LK Bennett would prove “attractive to prospective buyers”.

Front-runner Dune is part-owned by the Rubin family and chaired by Daniel Rubin, who launched the business as a concession on London’s Oxford Street almost 30 years ago.

In its latest accounts, covering the year to January 27, 2018, Dune’s pre-tax profit fell by a third to £4.7m.

It blamed the slump on the fall in the value of the pound and increases in costs such as business rates and the apprenticeship levy.