House of Fraser is mulling a return to the stock market after almost seven years of private ownership.
Chairman Don McCarthy, whose family controls 20% of the department store retailer, is leading talks to float the business.
McCarthy is seeking to simplify House of Fraser’s ownership structure, which includes a 49% stake held by representatives of failed Icelandic banks and significant shareholders including Lloyds Banking Group and Scottish tycoon Tom Hunter, The Telegraph reported.
House of Fraser had discussed takeover deals with Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley and Qatari investors but both failed due to disagreements between shareholders, questions over the valuation of the business and an £85m pension deficit.
It is understood these issues could also hinder a float, which is likely to value the retailer between £200m and £300m.
The 61-store retailer recorded a 3.3% rise in like-for-likes to more than £1.2bn in the year to January 26. House of Fraser’s net debt is £157m.
House of Fraser has already floated on the stock market twice and was last taken private by Icelandic tycoon Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson’s Baugur Group in a £350m deal.