The Bank of Scotland is planning to back a £42 million management buyout of shoe chain Stead & Simpson, according to media reports.

Stead & Simpson is said to be in discussions with its management to be bought out with the backing of Bank of Scotland's integrated finance division.

Such an agreement would allow shareholders of the company - which operates about 400 stores under the Stead & Simpson, Peter Briggs, Shoe Express and Famous Footwear names - to cash in their stakes.