Buyout firm Apax Partners and Morgan Stanley's private equity arm are exploring a sale of Chicago-based insurance brokerage Hub International that could be valued at around $2 billion, two people familiar with the matter said this week.

The potential sale of Hub would come six years after Apax and Morgan Stanley Principal Investments took the company private for $1.8 billion, including $145 million of debt.

Representatives for Hub and Morgan Stanley declined to comment. Apax did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Jessica Toonkel and Soyoung Kim in New York; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)