Private-equity group Sycamore Partners is considering a potential bid to purchase department store chain Macy’s (NYSE:M), according to a report in the New York Post.

Citing sources, the paper said that Sycamore, the owner of retail brands like Ann Taylor and Talbots, has been in negotiations with Macy’s since at least late December.

The New York Post added that some industry insiders believe Sycamore has the financial backing and savvy to secure the deal.

Get the week’s top news delivered directly to your inbox – Sign up for our newsletter

Shares in Macy’s rose in early trading on Thursday.

The report comes after Macy’s rejected a $5.8 billion take private bid from investing firm Arkhouse and hedge fund Brigade earlier this month.

In a statement on Sunday, the retailer said it had reviewed the unsolicited offer, but found that Arkhouse and Brigade had not provided sufficient information to address its concerns around their ability to finance the proposed transaction.

Macy’s added that it had asked Jefferies, the financial advisor for the buyout group, for updates around Arkhouse and Brigade’s plans to fund the deal earlier this month, but “no additional information” was provided. However, Arkhouse said Jefferies had provided a “highly confident letter” supporting its claim that it had the money necessary to fund the proposal.

Widely recognized as a mainstay of shopping malls, Macy’s has been facing heavy pressure from activist investors to explore a sale, as its brick-and-mortar locations struggle to keep up with digital competitors. Arkhouse and Brigade had previously proposed buying the shares of Macy’s it does not already own for $21 a share.

Outgoing Macy’s Chief Executive Jeff Gennette said the firm remains open to exploring other opportunities.

Meanwhile, media reports last week said the company is set to reduce headcount and shutter locations in a bid to cut costs and streamline its business. The reports said 2,350 roles — amounting to 3.5% of its workforce — will be slashed, while five stores will be shuttered.

Source: Yahoo Finance

Can’t stop reading? Read more