Private equity group Apax Partners, the former joint owner of New Look, and BC Partners are reported to have tabled indicative offers for home shopping group Shop Direct last week.
According Sky News Apax and BC Partners made their bids along with at least one other party after several private equity houses including¬†Carlyle, Cinven, CVC Capital Partners and Permira all declined to make bids.
Shop Direct is the parent of brands such as Littlewoods, Very.co.uk and Very Exclusive and is owned by the reclusive Barclay brothers, who also own The Telegraph newspaper and the Ritz hotel.
It is understood the ¬£3bn price tag has put some bidders off along with the business‚Äôs relaince on revenue from its consumer credit arm, though it has shown strong growth in profit in recent years. Should the Barclay brothers decide to lower the price the parties who have not tabled bids may well return to the fray, it is reported.