The private equity unit of Lehman Brothers is reportedly considering a bid for UK chocolate maker and retailer Thorntons.

Lehman is one of several parties interested in acquiring the chocolate company. Thorntons said in October that it had received a number of approaches from parties interesting in buying the company. One of the interested parties was believed to be private equity firm Permira, reported The Financial Times.

Thorntons has had a tough year, as hot weather dented sales over the summer months and during the crucial Easter period. In September, the company reported a near 10% fall in pre-tax profits to £6.4m (US$11.4m) for the year to 28 June.