Former B&Q boss Martin Toogood is poised to return to retail after teaming up with venture capitalists to take control of a continental store group.
An acquisition will be announced in the next few days. It is understood Toogood will become executive chairman of the business - thought to be in the furniture sector.
Toogood, regarded as one of the retail stars of his generation, parted company with Kingfisher two years ago. He had been expected to head a demerged Superdrug and Woolworths, but left when plans were changed.
Recently, there was speculation he might replace Steve Russell as chief executive of health and beauty giants Boots.