Peter Williams, the former chief executive of Selfridges department stores, is believed to be holding discussions with private equity houses about leading a takeover bid for footwear and clothing chain LK Bennett.

Williams, who stepped down from his position with Selfridges in February 2004 after it was bought by Galen Weston, is also thought to be considering an executive position with the company.

LK Bennett has already generated a considerable amount of interest after its founder Linda Bennett ordered a strategic review of the company in November.

Bennett is believed to be asking for approximately £75 million for the retail business.

Williams has also been linked with several private equity companies that are in talks over a potential acquisition of fashion chain Joseph.