Motor insurer RAC’s owner has held early talks with private equity houses to explore a sale of the group as an alternative to listing on the stock market.
Carlyle Group, which took control of RAC in 2011, is understood to have been approached informally by buyout shops ranging from Apax to BC Partners about buying the roadside recovery group.
A stock market listing is still considered the preferred option, despite the approaches, according to sources.
The news, first reported by Sky News, comes as Carlyle weighs plans to sell taxi firm Addison Lee, one of its UK portfolio companies, and Integrated Dental Holdings.
Private equity rivals like Warburg Pincus and KKR have been quick off the mark this year to sell firms via public markets.
All parties declined to comment.