Selfridges is vying for a stake in Ireland’s largest department store Arnotts after it was put up for sale by IBRC and Ulster Bank.
Selfridges Group, which is owned by Galen Weston, is bidding for a part of the Dublin store, which was taken over by the banks in 2010.
IBRC and Ulster Bank control €315m (£266.5m) worth of loans attached to Arnotts.
According to The Belfast Telegraph, Private equity firm Palladin Capital is also rumoured to be bidding for the loans.
Weston also owns Irish department store Brown Thomas although it is understood that he will differentiate the two stores if the bid is successful.
A spokeswoman for Selfridges dismissed it as “the usual rumour and speculation”.
Selfridges’ gross sales increased 6.1% to £1.1bn in 2012 while operating profit reached £134m.
Arnotts appointed Ray Hernan as chief executive of the company in August. Hernan was chief financial officer at Brown Thomas from 2006 to 2009.