Speculation that the troubled furniture retailer is about to be bought given the rocket
Analysts have poured cold water on speculation about a possible takeover of MFI. B&Q owner Kingfisher has been put at the top of a list of retailers and private equity firms interested in the floundering furniture retailer, principally for its successful joinery business, Howden Joinery.

Alongside Kingfisher, Argos and Homebase owner GUS and private equity firm Permira have been cited as interested parties.

However analysts have taken the speculation with a dose of salt. Numis Analyst Iain McDonald felt the make up of MFI's businesses meant that it didn't fit with any of the potential bidders thrown up by rumour mongers so far.

He said: 'The Acquisition of MFI would give GUS's retail division real scale. Arguably Howden does not sit quite so easily within the GUS retail -Howden has a better fit with the B&Q business. On the other hand, the MFI stores don't fit well with the big space strategy of B&Q - A private equity house would not get any synergies from the acquisition of MFI.'

Evolution Securities analyst Nick Bubb was even more sceptical that a real offer for MFI was in the offing.

He said: 'There's no smoke without fire but we suspect the latest bid speculation is just hot air. We cant believe any bidder will do anything until after Christmas and even then we wouldn't hold our breath.'

Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner was more positive about a possible bid but said it was at least 10 days away. He said: 'We believe the chances of a bid are good although we doubt anything will happen before the update on the systems problem on November 16.'