The owner of Crown Crest Group, a Leicester cash-and-carry and wholesale company, has emerged as the likely bidder for discount variety chain Instore.

Instore, which also operates as Poundstretcher, said yesterday that it had entered preliminary discussions with a third party, which may or may not lead to an offer.

Crown Crest, owned by Abdul Aziz Tayub, indirectly owns more than 30 per cent of Instore. It is also a major supplier to the chain.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Crown Crest bought the majority of its Instore shares last year from Tradegro, the South African company run by Christo Wiese, Instore’s non-executive chairman. Tradegro remains Instore’s biggest shareholder, with a 35 per cent stake.

Instore has 140 shops in the UK and stocks homewares, toys and clothing.

Click here to read yesterday's story, Instore mulls sale.