Fashion retailer Phase Eight is said to be in sales talks with private investor Barclays Private Equity in a deal that could be worth £30 million.

Stephen Sunnucks, former chief executive of high street clothing chain New Look,  is believed to be leading the bid.

The sale of the company would net Phase Eight founder and majority owner Patsy Seddon a multi-million pound windfall.

Minority shareholders Maurice and Michael Bennett, the entrepreneur brothers who founded fashion chain Oasis, would also be in line to pocket a payout.

Phase Eight operates 60 outlets as well as a line of concessions within department stores.