German newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung reported Advent was close to a deal for a 10.81 per cent stake of the company, which sells perfume, books, jewellery and sweets.
That stake is owned by shareholder Erwin Mueller, who will also sell the firm 15 per cent of put options according to the report.
Advent has been in talks with Douglas for some time but no deal is imminent according to Reuters, which said the private equity firm would be interested in gaining a majority stake.
European buyout house Permira is also believed to be interested in the company.
Last week Advent bought a majority stake in the parent company of two of the world’s largest mattress manufacturers in a deal reported to value the business at about $3bn.
Existing private equity investor Ares Management and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan will retain a “significant” equity stake in AOT Bedding Super Holdings – the parent company of National Bedding and Simmons Bedding – following the purchase, which is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter.
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