HOME Retail Group, the owner of the Argos and Homebase retail chains, is in talks to buy Habitat.
The luxury furnishings company is now owned by restructuring specialist Hilco. It has 71 stores worldwide, including 35 in the UK, 26 in France, five in Spain and five in Germany, employing 2,100 staff.
It is understood that another unnamed company is also eyeing Habitat.
Home Retail Group has seen its Argos stores struggle in the downturn as household budgets are squeezed. However, Homebase has been faring better.
Sir Terence Conran founded the company in London in 1964 to market his “Summa” range of furniture. The first Habitat store was opened in Chelsea by Conran, his then wife Caroline and the model Pagan Taylor.