Clothing retailer Ted Baker has picked a preferred bidder after receiving a number of revised takeover proposals and said that private equity fund Sycamore Partners Management has dropped out of the process.
The UK designer said Monday it will begin a due diligence process with the preferred bidder, which will probably take several weeks.
The stock rose as much as 4.6pc in early trading.
Chief executive officer Rachel Osborne has been seeking to revive Ted Baker by cutting debt and product markdowns, boosting online sales and refreshing the brand.
The shares have lost more than 90pc of their value in the past four years.
The retailer's founder, Ray Kelvin, departed in 2019 after being accused of inappropriate hugs and other behaviour in the workplace, which he denied.
The company reported a 35pc gain in fiscal fourth-quarter revenue in February.
The board reserves the right to reject any approach or terminate talks with any bidder at any time, Ted Baker said.