Charterhouse Development Capital is in talks with UK retailer Kingfisher about a possible £600m buy of Kingfisher’s Woolworths chain.
However, the Sunday Business reported that no deal was imminent as the two parties have not yet agreed on a price.
Charterhouse is the only private equity firm still in the hunt after Candover, Nomura and Cinven lost interest.
Should Charterhouse succeed in making a deal, it is reported to have a new CEO waiting in the wings – Jim Hodkinson, formerly of fashion retailer New Look.
Profits at Woolworths fell 16 per cent last year owing to a competitive market, according to kingfisher.