Toy retailer Hamleys is on the brink of being of being sold to China-based women’s footwear business C.banner Holdings.

C.banner said yesterday talks to buy Hamleys from its owner, French retailer Groupe Ludendo, were at an “advanced stage”. The acquisition is reported to be worth around £100m.

The news follows weeks of speculation about a possible sale.

Hamleys has been expanding internationally and opened a store in Moscow in April. It already has shops in India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

C.banner also indicated it aims to strike a partnership with House of Fraser, which is owned by Chinese conglomerate Sanpower, to sell toys through the department store group.