An unexpected £4 billion (€4.7 billion) bid has been made to the parent company of both Arnotts and Brown Thomas, according to reports by the Financial Times.
The Selfridges Group, controlled by the Weston family, owns both of the Irish department stores, which would be included in the sale as the bid is said to be for the entire business, as reported by The Irish Times.
Sources said Selfridges are taking the bid very seriously, with React News reporting the group have appointing investment bank Credit Suisse to advise on the matter.
The group now includes high-end stores across Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands, with the flagship Selfridges' store on London's Oxford Street.
The Weston family are also connected to Irish-founded Penneys, which operates as Primark outside the Republic of Ireland.
Brown Thomas and Arnotts are report to have seen a 5 per cent rise in sales in the 12 months to February 2020, totalling €173.3 million, while pretax profit fell by 10 per cent to €5.94 million.