The race to buy hardware retailer Robert Dyas has been whittled down to three bidders, it is understood.

There were originally five interested parties,according to the Daily Mail, and hardware giant Wilkinson was among them,

Little Chef owner R Capital was also said to be interested although the investor denied that was the case true.

Corporate finance boutique Cavendish, which is handling the disposal, hopes to enter exclusive talks with a preferred bidder and aims to sell Dyas early next month.

The retailer is expected to sell for £25m, which is its debt level.

It is unknown who the remaining bidders are.