US retailer BJ’s Wholesale Club is close to hiring an advisor to explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale to a private-equity firm, according to reports.

According to the New York Post, private-equity group Leonard Green is looking to take over the chain.

The fund has been been courting the warehouse club operator since July after taking a 9.5% stake in the retailer.

According to the report, lead candidates to advise the firm include Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

The report said that BJ’s had been dragging its heels in negotiations with Leonard Green, with an unnamed source saying that the private-equity firm pressured BJ’s to either a firm answer on possible negotiations.

“Frankly I think management is worried about losing their jobs if they sell,” the source told the newspaper.

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