Outdoors specialists Go Outdoors is poised to sell a minority stake to a private equity firm to fund its expansion plans.

The retailer is in talks with multiple private equity firms including 3i over selling about 20% of shares according to The Independent.  PricewaterhouseCoopers is handling the process.

Go Outdoors has been the subject of takeover rumours since the arrival of former Debenhams chairman and serial dealmaker John Lovering last August. Go Outdoors managing director John Lovering told Retail Week in February that he had no plans to sell the business.

The fresh funding from the minority stake will help the 27-store chain hit its target of growing to 50 outlets before the end of 2012.

Go Outdoors notched up record sales of £114.9m in the year ending January 30, up 57% on last year. Like-for-like sales grew 10.6% in the year.