The co-founder of Superdry is in talks with potential partners to fund a buyout of the struggling retailer.
The clothing retailer confirmed that Julian Dunkerton – who owns a 20% stake – had requested permission to begin exploring the possibility of making an offer for the company, which was granted.
Last year, Dunkerton denied plans to delist the company, which was placed on the stock market in 2010.
Superdry said there can be no certainty that an offer will be made.
This comes after it was reported that Superdry could close stores as part of restructuring plans. The retailer confirmed it has called advisers in from PricewaterhouseCoopers to examine its debt-raising options.
In a trading update released just before Christmas, Superdry had blamed milder-than-expected Autumn weather for lower sales. The results had capped off a year in which the retailer had undertaken a number of measures to strengthen its balance sheet.
However, rumours of a possible buyout had increased over the course of the week after Norweigan hedge fund First Seagull purchased a 5.3% stake, with shares doubling in value on Friday.