ATE equity firm Apax Partners is reportedly closing in on a deal to buy German clothing retailer Takko from US rival Advent International for about €1.3bn (£1.1bn).
Apax has been given until Thursday to hold exclusive talks with Takko and a deal is likely before the deadline, says the Wall Street Journal.
Advent has been readying an initial public offering of Takko, which operates discount clothing shops across Europe, in case a committed buyer does not emerge.
Last week it emerged that both Apax and Swedish rival EQT were both preparing binding bids for Takko.
Apax and Advent were unavailable for comment last night.