Sportswear giant Nike is reportedly nearing a deal to sell its footwear brand Cole Haan to private equity firm Apax Partners for US$500m.

Apax will team up with former Converse chief executive Jack Boys to run the footwear brand after the takeover, according to Reuters.

However, a spokesperson for Nike told just-style: "We don't have any specifics to share other than to say we're continuing the process of identifying buyers for Cole Haan and preparing the businesses for sale. The sale processes is on track, with multiple prospective buyers."

Apax Partners declined to comment on the situation when contacted by just-style today (6 November).

The report comes after the sportswear giant in May revealed plans to divest its Cole Haan and Umbro brands to focus on growing its Nike, Jordan, Converse and Hurley lines. Umbro has since been sold to Iconix Brand Group for $225m.

Private equity firm TPG Capital was also in the running to buy the Nike-owned footwear brand, according to reports in August.