Evans Cycles is looking for a buyer within days amid difficult High Street trading conditions, Sky News reports.
Advisors to the century-old retailer have reportedly asked potential bidders to submit final takeover bids by the end of next week, escalating concerns that the business may be in financial trouble.
The news has emerged less than a fortnight after it was reported that Evans’ lenders were seeking more than £10 million in additional funding for the business before the end of the year.
According to Sky News, it was unclear on Thursday whether a potential buyer of the company would consider an insolvency procedure called a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in an effort to close Evans’ worst-performing stores.
The company, which is owned by the private equity firm ECI Partners, is being advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
AlixPartners is understood to be advising AIB and HSBC, the retailer’s principal lenders.
Evans is now the latest in a long line of major retailers to be forced into talks with lenders, as High Street retailers face mounting competition from online rivals.
Chains such as House of Fraser, Mothercare, New Look and Toys R Us UK have either been forced into administration or secured creditor approval for restructurings.