Strutt & Parker has declined to comment on speculation that it could be bought by an investment bank.
The Financial Times is reporting that BNP Paribas, France’s biggest bank, is in talks to acquire the agent – but is likely only be interested in the commercial side of Strutt & Parker.
The FT speculates that the residential side could go to another buyer.
It has been open knowledge for months that Strutt & Parker is for sale, with rumours that Strutts has been considering selling all or part of the business to BNP before.
The agency is also believed to have laid off a number of people.
The business made pre-tax profits of £18.2m – a 35% fall on the previous year – on £108m revenue to the year to April 2016.
The estate agency, which has some 60 branches, has been considering its options, advised by Evercore, since last year.
Andy Martin, senior partner of the 132-year-old company, has announced plans to step down this year.
Other potential suitors are rumoured to include CBRE and Bidwells, according to Estates Gazette.
EYE suspects that other purchasers, close to home, are far more likely, but that the asking price of the business is the problem.