Private-equity firms TPG Capital and Apax Partners are reportedly among several parties in the running to buy Nike-owned footwear brand Cole Haan.

The auction process is in the second round, with Cole Haan likely to sell for around US$500m, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources.

At the end of May, Nike revealed it was seeking to divest its Cole Haan and Umbro brands as part of a strategy to focus on growing the Nike, Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands.

At the time, Nike president and CEO Mark Parker said the move would allow it to "focus our resources on the highest-potential opportunities for Nike Inc to continue to drive sustainable, profitable growth for our shareholders."

It expects the moves to be complete by the end of Nike's 2013 fiscal year.