Department store chain House of Fraser is in very preliminary takeover talks after being approached by private equity firm Apax Partners, a House of Fraser spokesperson confirmed to just-style.

The two parties are still at the same point in negotiations as on Friday, when rumours of talks began to surface, the spokesperson indicated.

Industry rumours suggest chief executive John Coleman may be looking to sell the group, which has reported total sales growth after it bought the Jenners and Beatties businesses last year.

House of Fraser has an estimated market value of £279m (US$485.49m).