French retail group Ludendo is vying to buy toy chain Hamleys in a deal worth £60m.
The group, which runs toys stores across France, Belguim, Switzerland and Spain, could buy Hamleys by the end of the month, according to The Sunday Times.
Hamleys is the latest asset to be auctioned by nationalised Icelandic bank Landsbanki, which owns 65% of the toy chain, as it seeks to return money to its creditors.
Landsbanki took control of Hamleys when its majority shareholder, Icelandic investment giant Baugur, went bust in 2008. Retail Week revealed last year that Landsbanki was looking to offload its retail assets and that a sale of Hamleys was on the cards.
The bank, which owns a raft of retail assets across the British high street, has already sold frozen food chain Iceland to founder Malcolm Walker for £1.45bn in March. It has also raised the ‘for sale’ sign above jewellery group Aurum, which owns Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb and Watches of Switzerland.
It is understood that Landsbanki has not sought any more offers for Hamleys since it received the approach from Ludendo.