In July, owners of the department store, the Weston family, launched an auction to sell Selfridges with a price tag starting at £4 billion.
The owners of department store Selfridges are reportedly in talks with Qatar about a potential £4billion sale, reports said.
The move would see the first ownership change of the department store in nearly two decades and mark Qatar’s second such ownership of a major London department store.
Through Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), acquired Harrods in 2010.
Credit Suisse has been appointed to oversee the auction of Selfridges and sources with knowledge of the latest talks reported that funds linked to the Gulf state have taken the lead to acquire the store.
In July, the Weston family, which owns Selfridges, launched an auction for the store after a difficult year and several months of forced closure.
The Westons have hold of four Selfridges branches in the UK – two in Manchester and two others in London and Birmingham.
The Gulf state is not yet in exclusive talks and a rival bidder for the Selfridges acquisition may appear successful. Both QIA and Selfridges have not commented on the potential Qatar purchase.
Talks with Qatar have also reportedly included the possibility of buying only the Selfridges department stores and excluding other Westons’ owned businesses, such as Irish shops Brown Thomas and Arnotts, Holt Renfrew in Canada and de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands.
Other sovereign wealth funds rumoured to be interested in the race to buy Selfridges include the neighbouring kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Qatar also acquired the world-famous Printemps store in Paris in 2013 through Divine Investments.