New Look has entered talks with Chinese investors as it leans towards a sale rather than a stock market flotation.
The fashion retailer’s private equity owners Apax and Permira have held discussions with investors including Thomas Cook backer Fosun, according to The Sunday Times.
Other parties to have expressed an interest in recent weeks include private equity funds CDH and Citic Capital.
The talks are said to be a preliminary stage and are ongoing as the New Look’s owners pursue a sale and keep a flotation in reserve as a back-up option.
New Look was previously gearing up for a float but pulled it in February 2010 after blaming volatile market conditions.
The high street retailer’s owners are currently working with JP Morgan to pursue options for an exit.
New Look has more than 800 stores in 21 countries around the world and has been owned by private equity firms Apax and Permira, as well as its founder Tom Singh, since 2004.