The founder and former owner of outdoor clothing and equipment chain Kathmandu says she is well advanced in plans to set up a business to compete with it.

In two interviews last week, Jan Cameron said she planned to set up a business of 60 stores - 30 in this country and 30 in Australia.

She said she was setting aside A$27 million ($33.5m) for the venture.

Her revelation came just days after the current private equity owners of Kathmandu announced details of a A$440m float of the company, The Age newspaper reported.

Kathmandu chief executive Peter Halkett told Fairfax Media at the weekend that Ms Cameron had signed a restraint of trade agreement with Kathmandu until May 2011.

He said this prevented her from even mentioning plans if they involved starting a competing brand.

Ms Cameron said restraint of trade was a grey area of law that would be tested at some point. She did not believe it prevented her talking about her intentions.

- NZPA