Home Retail Group’s shareholder Taube Hodson Stonex Partners has vetoed a sell-off of the Homebase business.

The shareholder claims that private equity firms circling the DIY and garden products retailer have left it “too late”, according to The Sunday Times.

Speculation that Home Retail Group, which also owns Argos, would sell off Homebase began when John Walden became group boss of Home Retail in March and launched a review of the business.

Last month it was claimed turnaround investors Apollo and OpCapita were working on a takeover bid for Homebase.

However, Cato Stonex of Taube Hodsone Stonex Partners told The Sunday Times: “If somebody had been brave 18 months ago they could have tried to steal it from us, but now it’s too late”.

Rumours of a sell-off persist despite there being no advisor appointed by Home Retail Group, which would typically be an indication that a sale is on the cards.