Blackstone is poised to sell off the Ideal World home shopping channel for less than half the price it paid for the business.

The world’s largest private equity firm has appointed advisers from Deloitte to find a buyer quickly for the channel’s parent company Ideal Shopping Direct.

The business has previously exploited the rapid growth of the “crafting” market, yet its trading is said to have been suffering more recently following the launch of Hochanda.

Companies House records show that Michael Hancox, 52, the chief executive of Ideal Shopping Direct since 2008, left the business on May 30.

Staff at Peterborough's Ideal Shopping Direct are facing an uncertain future, based in Newark Road, where it employs about 500 people.

A spokesman for Blackstone confirmed the company was for sale and it was talking to potential buyers.

He said: "Following a review of their portfolio priorities, and a number of approaches, Blackstone have decided to run a formal process to seek expressions of interest for Ideal Shopping Direct Ltd."

Ideal Shopping Direct comprises Ideal World, Create and Craft, Craft Channel Productions, Ideal Sourcing and Deramores, selling on-line and through broadcast TV on Freeview channels 22 and 23, Freesat, Sky and Virgin in the UK and the DISH satellite network in the USA.

Ideal Shopping Direct was bought by Blackstone after it had been put on the market by former owner private equity company Inflexion, which had priced it at £200 million. Blackstone has always refused to say how much it spent on the purchase.