Pair eye seat at DFS sofa chain

PRIVATE equity firm Permira and veteran retailer John Lovering are understood to be circling furniture group DFS.

The two are believed to be planning a bid for the sofa chain, which is owned by Lord Kirkham, who is thought to be nearing retirement. He is said to be considering selling a majority stake in DFS, valued at more than 500 million.

Lovering – who was installed as chairman of pubs group Mitchells & Butlers last week – and Permira are expected to face stiff competition from other private equity groups, including Cinven and Advent International.