The deal would value Loch Lomond at tens of millions of pounds according to Sky News, putting it near the lower-end of Exponent’s target enterprise values of £75m to £350m.
Sky cited people familiar with the situation, who said other prospective buyers were also interested.
Exponent currently holds meat-free food maker Quorn in its portfolio following a £205m buyout with Intermediate Capital Group in 2011.
The firm is investing from its £800m second fund, which beat its £750m through a final close in 2008.
It closed its 2004-vintage debut fund on £400m after just five months of fundraising, having been founded the same year by former 3i employees Tom Sweet-Escott, Richard Campin, Chris Graham and Hugh Richards.
Last month it emerged private equity firm Sun European Partners was reportedly poised to win the bidding war for British beds retailer Dreams, which was put up for sale by Exponent in December 2012.
Citing people with knowledge of the situation, the Financial Times said Sun European had offered £35m.
The newspaper previously reported that Topshop owner Sir Philip Green, Dreams founder Mike Clare –who is backed by private equity firm Apollo Management – and Royal Bank of Scotland’s private equity unit were on the short list of bidders.
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