Several private-equity firms are said to have held discussions with Liz Claiborne Inc about taking the clothing company private, according to reports.

However, the firm, whose brands include Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand Jeans and Kate Spade, is not currently contemplating a deal or exploring a sale, The Wall Street Journal said.

Reportedly, KKR and Permira and Warburg Pincus are among the firms that have previously expressed interest in Liz Claiborne and remain interested in it.

The conversations began after a company initially interested in buying Liz Claiborne's Mexx brand sought to buy the entire business, and reached out to other private-equity firms for additional funds.

In August, Liz Claiborne, with its financial adviser Centerview Partners, contacted private-equity firms about a potential deal. The company was seeking US$20 per share.

However, it sold a majority stake in the Mexx brand to the Gores Group in September as part of efforts to divest or license underperforming brands in hopes of turning the business around. 

Since then, buyout firms have continued to circle the company and have held financing discussions with banks, the WSJ reported. 

This article was originally published on 2 April.