British online fashion retailer ASOS has emerged as a surprise front-runner to buy the Topshop brand from the administrators of British tycoon Philip Green's Arcadia Group, Sky News reported on Saturday.
ASOS is in the lead to buy the brand for more than £250 million ($342.1m), the report said.
ASOS and Arcadia declined to comment.
Retailer Next said on Thursday it had pulled out of the bidding as it was unable to meet the price expectations of the collapsed fashion chain.
ASOS is not holding any talks about buying Topshop stores, Sky News said, citing unnamed insiders. But it was also keen to acquire Arcadia's Miss Selfridge brand alongside Topshop and Topman, Sky said.
ASOS is competing against rivals including Boohoo Group , US retailer Authentic Brands Group, which is working with JD Sports Fashion, and Chinese fashion group Shein, the report added.
Arcadia went into administration in November, putting more than 13,000 jobs at risk and becoming Britain's biggest corporate casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic.