Argos-owner Home Retail Group was among the potential bidders for outdoors specialist Blacks Leisure, it has emerged

News of Home Retail’s interest in the camping business will come as a surprise to the City, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Home Retail had itself previously been seen as a takeover target and Asda was viewed as a potential buyer.

Home Retail’s interest in Blacks may indicate its intention to expand by acquisition and ward off takeover interest.

Argos is also expanding its own camping and outdoor ranges in the expectation that the staycation trend is here to stay.

In the event, the potential sale of Blacks as pulled yesterday after the retailer’s directors decided none of the offers received valued the business highly enough.