Shares in Home Retail Group shot to the top of the FTSE 250 today, amid speculation that the Argos owner is being circled by a number of private equity firms.
Shares in Milton Keynes-based company, which also owns Homebase, jumped as much as seven per cent to 110.6p per share in early morning trading. However, Home Retail Group has still lost nearly half its value since the beginning of this year.
It follows a report in the Sunday Times that several retail industry figures are mulling a £1bn takeover bid for the troubled company, after a fall in its share price as well as an uncharacteristic pre-Christmas profit warning.
Read more: Argos signs new delivery deal with eBay
Last month, Home Retail Group said investment in its new same-day delivery service, weak sales of electrical goods, and uncertainty around trading going into Christmas meant full-year profits are likely to be below the bottom of the forecast range of £115m to £140m.
The profit warning came as it reported pretax profits rose 10 per cent to £34.1m in the first six months of this year, while total sales fell two per cent to £2.6bn.
Home Retail Group's chief exec, John Walden, has been taking steps to bring ailing Argos into the digital age. The drive has seen him sign a drop-off and delivery deal with EBay and same-day delivery from its UK stores.