Dick’s Sporting Goods is in early-stage talks to go private by Reuters @FortuneMagazine January 7, 2015, 12:04 PM EST E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc is holding early-stage conversations with a handful of buyout firms about going private, according to people familiar with the matter. There is no formal sale process for the $6 billion sporting goods retailer, these people said, and the Coraopolis, Pennsylvania-based company could still decide not to go forward with a deal if the preliminary talks do not pan out. A representative for Dick’s Sporting Goods DKS could not be reached for comment. The sources requested anonymity because the discussions are private. Dick’s Sporting Goods has been pegged by analysts as a potential buyout target in part because its share performance has lagged peers. The stock has fallen 15 percent in the last 12 months, compared with a 6 percent rise from the Standard & Poor’s 500 Sector Discretionary index over the same period. Founded in 1948 by Dick Stack at the age of 18, the company offers sports equipment, apparel, footwear and accessories at more than 597 locations throughout the United States. Fortune’s Phil Wahba recently wrote about the challenges facing Dick’s Sporting Goods.