Founder of Matalan John Hargreaves is said to be among four bidders to have placed an offer for the British retailer, in a last ditch attempt to keep hold of the chain.
According to The Sunday Times, Hargreaves has partnered with private equity firm Elliot Advisers for an equal bid on Matalan.
The publication further reported that other parties understood to be among the finalised bidders include Alteri and OpCapita and Matalan’s senior lenders.
Additionally, a group of lenders, consisting of Invesco, Tresidor Investment Management and Man GLG, that initially pushed for the sale process are now bidding to take control of the company.
The media outlet said that Hargreaves is expecting his bid to be successful due to his knowledge of the retailer, which he founded in 1985.
Hargreaves stepped down from his position as CEO of Matalan in 2020 but remained at the company to provide strategic counsel to the board.
However, as the sales process went underway, he exited as the retailer’s chairman in order to participate.
The company came to be facing increasing debts amounting to over 500 million pounds, leading its credit insurers to remove cover for its suppliers.
It hopes that the sale will cut the group's debt and strengthen its financial position.