Five private equity groups are understood to have tabled bids for value fashion group Matalan, which may be sold for as much as £1.5bn.

BC Partners, Blackstone, TPG and Warburg Pincus have all tabled indicative offers, the Financial Times reported, The fifth is Advent, which already owns value variety store chain Poundland and whose bid would be led by former Boots chief executive Richard Baker.

If Matalan attracts the mooted £1.5bn price tag it would be valued at more than 10 times EBITDA of £145m in the year to February 28. The hefty price being demanded is understood to have dissuaded some potential bidders from submitting offers.

No sale is likely until the new year, when Matalan’s festive trading performance becomes clear. It is likely some of the retailer’s senior management would leave after a sale.

Matalan said: “Matalan confirms it is in discussions with a number of interested parties who have approached them with a possible interest in acquiring the business.

“Discussions are ongoing and no further announcement is expected until the new year.”