Online fashion giant boohoo has confirmed media speculation of its intent to purchase the online businesses of high street women’s fashion brands Karen Millen and sister brand Coast.

The board of the AIM-listed eCommerce firm confirmed that it had made an offer to acquire the online portions of the renowned British brands and associated intellectual property rights.

“The group believes that the online business of these brands would represent highly complementary additions to its scalable multi-brand platform and extend the group's offer as part of its vision to lead the fashion eCommerce market globally,” the firm said in a statement.

boohoo said a further announcement would be made about advancements in the transaction “when appropriate”.

Media speculation of the deal began after a source at Sky News claimed boohoo was to swoop for the brand through a pre-pack administration, a type of insolvency process.

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The Karen Millen brand, run by former‎ Bonmarche executive Beth Butterwick, recorded sales of £162m in the year to February 2018, and an operating loss of £1.4m last year.

It has 30 standalone stores and 175 concessions in the UK, which as yet have not been mentioned in reference to the deal.

Manchester-based boohoo was founded in 2006 and has a market value of £2.6bn. It posted £857m revenue across its brands for the year ended 28th February 2019, a 50 per cent increase on the year previous.

As well as its own boohoo label, it owns Nasty Gal and MissPap, which was reportedly planning to appoint a liquidator before the sale.

boohoo claims to have around 13 million active customer accounts across all its brands around the world.