The architect is talking to bankers about the potential sale of Foster and Partners according to reports

Lord Norman Foster is considering the sale of his architectural practice for up to £500m. According to newspaper reports the architect has already contacted bankers about the potential sale of the practice.

It is understood that Foster told senior staff at Foster and Partners last week, but it is not yet clear when the 71-year old architect would leave and whether he would retain a stake in the practice.

City sources said that the practice was worth between £300m and £500m. Corporate finance house Catalyst Investment is said to be advising on the deal.

A sale would provide more capital for expansion. It is thought that the practice – which currently employs 600 architects and designers – is keen to establish between 20 and 30 offices around the world.

Foster and Partners recorded a pre-tax profit of £2.5m on a £44.5m turnover for the year ended April 2005.