Directors of the Bradstock Group are considering several approaches to buy the network broker business which has recently seen its share price lag.

Executive chairman Alan Williams, who recently took over the helm from former chief executive David Young when he left the company last June, confirmed the group has received a "number of approaches" from potential suitors.

The Stock Exchange has been informed of the firms' interest, though none has yet made a formal offer, Williams said. He declined to reveal the precise number or identity of any of the interested parties.

He did say the possible bidders that have shown an interest in acquiring the group, which had an income of £36 million last year, are a mix of large and small companies.

Williams expected the group will be in a position to declare who its likely new partner is, after negotiations have been concluded in the next few weeks.

But he stressed these will not be rushed: "It will be for board members to consider what is in the best interests of shareholders."

Williams said the sale has been prompted by the group's poorly performing share price which has languished at around the 30 pence mark before it decided to put itself on the market.

He explained: "The board considered that this price did not reflect the actual value of the company. And that the retail side of the business needs more outside resources in order to develop."