The Blacks Leisure MBO team is having difficulty raising finance, partly because of the effect foot and mouth disease is having on demand for camping goods, according to the Times rumour of the day spot.
A spokeswoman for Blacks had no comment to make.
Although shares in Blacks fell to 167.5p on the speculation, they had recovered to 172.5p by mid-morning today. Shares stood at 156.5p when the MBO was confirmed on March 26 in response to press speculation.
The MBO is being led by Tom Knight, appointed CEO in January. Knight is understood to be talking to potential backers about a poissible bid of about 250p a share for Blacks.
Knight is being advised by KPMG. Blacks Leisure owns Blacks Outdoor, First Sport and Millets. It is worth about £69m.