Private-equity-owned J. Crew is reportedly in discussions to sell itself to Japan’s Fast Retailing for as much as $5 billion even as the retailer taps Goldman Sachs (GS) to explore a potential initial public offering.

The M&A buzz comes three years after private-equity firms TPG Capital and Leonard Green shelled out $2.64 billion to acquire J. Crew.

According to The Wall Street Journal, talks between J. Crew and Fast Retailing are at an early stage and may not necessarily result in a deal. J. Crew is seeking as much as $5 billion in a possible sale, the paper said.

TPG Capital declined to comment on the report.

J. Crew, which has 451 stores and generates about $2.4 billion in annual sales, has also hired Goldman to begin preliminary work on a possible IPO, the Journal reported.

Published reports indicate an IPO would also likely value J. Crew at about $5 billion.

J. Crew settled a lawsuit for $16 million from investors who allege the company did not get a fair price in the November 2010 buyout because CEO Millard Drexler and other executives stood to make millions off the deal.

Follow Matt Egan on Twitter @MattMEgan5