Clinton Cards management has approached City banks with a plan to buy the company from the Stock Exchange.
The greetings card’s management, including founder Don Lewin and his son Clinton, own about a third of the business.
Shares in the retailer have slumped 60% in the last year, closing at 15.75p on Friday. The business is now valued at £33m.
It has issued two profit warnings this year.
Clinton Cards declined to comment but one source told the Mail on Sunday: “The company seems to feel it would be better placed to weather the consumer downturn away from the glare of the stock exchange.”