Morrisons family members are working with bankers on a debt financing package worth up to £5bn to back a potential sale of the grocer to private equity firms.

Morrisons’ founding family has contacted private equity firms to attempt to raise the capital needed to take the grocer private, Reuters reported.

Shareholders and City analysts have been skeptical about the deal to take Morrisons private but Reuters reported bankers and sponsors have been discussing the fallibility of the transaction for over a month.

It emerged last week that the founding family, which owns a 9.5% stake, had approached private equity firms CVC Capital Partners and the Carlyle Group to gauge their interest after Morrisons reported a 5.6% fall in like-for-like sales over Christmas.

The grocer’s former boss Sir Ken Morrison is reportedly not involved in the negotiations. CVC had also considered a bid for Morrisons in 2007.

Morrisons declined to comment.