Bridgepoint Capital is poised to buy HobbyCraft, Retail Week has learned.

The private equity firm has entered into exclusive talks with the arts and crafts retailer for an undisclosed sum.

Private equity firms including Exponent and TA Associates were also believed to be vying to buy the retailer, and were thought to have made offers by the deadline for final bids on April 19.

Sources close to the situation said a deal was expected to be done “imminently”, and that Bridgepoint had emerged as the “preferred bidder”.

HobbyCraft hired Grant Thornton to seek a buyer for the 45-store retailer, owned by the Haskins family. HobbyCraft was initially valued at £70m but sources have previously told Retail Week that it could fetch up to £100m.

Chief executive Chris Crombie, who is likely to be kept on by the future owner, has said there is potential to grow the chain to 180 stores.