Upscale ladies' clothing chain Joseph has been put on sale today for approximately £100 million, according to media reports.

The group's seller - a consortium including Joseph's founder Joseph Ettedgui - is said to be planning to send information to over 20 possible buyers next week The Times newspaper says.

Potential bidders are expected to include venture capital group Hicks Muse, which owns the Jimmy Choo shoe chain, and 3i, which owns the Hobbs ladies' wear stores.

Joseph is 57 per cent owned by Belgian investment vehicle Compagnie Nationale a Portefeuille, with Ettedgui, his brother and other investment groups owning smaller portions.

The company operates approximately 30 stand-alone stores and 30 concessions throughout the UK, Ireland, France, the US and Japan.