Oaktree, Apax, 3i and Permira mulling bids for housebuilder

Several private equity firms are considering bidding for stricken housebuilder Taylor Wimpey following a week in which its share price fell by a further one-third.

Building first revealed that the housebuilder was talking to private equity groups four months ago, and it is thought the option has become more likely after the recent deterioration in the market.

Media reports over the weekend claimed that several bidders were eyeing up Taylor Wimpey for a possible deal that would guarantee its future.

Oaktree Capital, the US private equity group, is evaluating Taylor Wimpey's books. It may decide to take a minority stake in the company as part of a restructuring deal.

According to the Observer newspaper, private equity houses Apax, 3i and Permira are also in the frame.

Taylor Wimpey released a bearish trading statement last week, which caused £60m in shares to be wiped off the value of the company. The housebuilder has been hit badly by the credit crunch, losing 98% of its stock market value in the last year. It is now worth about £100m.