Shoe retailer Stead & Simpson is considering buyout offers for the company after deciding against a flotation on the stock market.

1834-established Stead & Simpson says it has been approached by several private-equity companies as well as some of its competitors over a potential acquisition.

The company, which operates more than 400 outlets throughout the UK, is owned jointly by its chairman, chief executive and finance director, and stock market-listed Development Securities.

Stead & Simpson's financial results have been considerably better than those of its rivals over the last six months, with a 1 per cent rise in same-store sales, the company has reported. Same-store June sales grew 7 per cent and July sales rose 6 per cent.

While chief executive David Lockyer and finance director Peter Foot are expected to stay on with the company if it is bought out, chairman David Shannon is said to be planning to quit.