Chorion, owner of the children’s television characters Mr Men and Noddy, has been working with financial restructuring expert Edward Knighton on the company’s financial position.
Mr Knighton was previously hired to turn around Entertainment Rights, the owner of Postman Pat and Basil Brush.
Mr Knighton is understood to have recently completed his project at Chorion, which wanted to strengthen its finances after approaches from rival private equity houses. One interested party is Searchlight Capital Partners, which was set up last year by executives from firms including Apollo Management and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
Sources say Searchlight has been in talks about options that include buying some or all of 3i’s stake in Chorion. Another option is to fund a bid for Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine-owner Hit Entertainment, which is up for sale in New York.