Selfridges’ owner is vying to take a stake in Ireland’s largest department store after it was put up for sale by IBRC and Ulster Bank.

Canadian billionaire Galen Weston, who controls Selfridges, also owns Irish department store Brown Thomas.

The banks, which took control of Arnotts in 2010, have about €315m (£270m) worth of loans attached to the department store, according to The Belfast Telegraph.

Private equity firm Paladin Capital is also thought to be bidding for the Arnotts loans.

It is understood that Selfridges would differentiate Arnotts from Brown Thomas if its bid is successful.  

Selfridges’ gross sales increased 6.1% to £1.1bn in 2012 as it delivered £134m in operating profit. The retailer said the performance was boosted by its £40m investment in stores in areas such as women’s and men’s designer galleries.

It plans to invest a further £100m into its stores in 2013 to 2014, according to Selfridges Group managing director Paul Kelly.

He said: “Selfridges UK has delivered another year of strong progress, supported by our investment programme which sets out to continuously innovate for our brands and improve both our online and in-store customer experience.”

Its Birmingham store will receive £20m investment over the next three years.