According to the publication, Duke Street, which has owned TOFS since 2007, has now instructed Deloitte to help it explore a potential takeover deal.
The company is not said to be running a formal sale process however, and had not been planning to launch one until next year. Nonetheless, sources told Sky that a sale prior to then was now a “possibility”, with a number of potential bidders expressing interest in a deal.
The value of TOFS in any deal remains unclear however.
TOFS, which trades from around 180 UK stores and employs more than 1,500 people, is known for selling brands including Adidas, Calvin Klein, Jimmy Choo, L’Oreal and Under Armour at “substantial” discounts.
Private equity firm Duke Street bought the company for £68.5m in 2007 from the private equity arm of Barclays.
In 2018, the company closed approximately 30 stores through a CVA, in a deal that “cleared the way for rent cuts as Duke Street sought to put TOFS on a more sustainable financial footing”.
Retail Sector has contacted Duke Street for further comment.