Home furnishings store Habitat is reportedly the subject of purchase talks by Home Retail Group, which already owns Argos and Homebase. 

It is currently owned by Hilco after being bought from IKANO Group in December 2009 and has 35 branches in the UK, as part of a total of 71 branches across the world.

Sky City editor Mark Kleinman, who broke the story, said that another company is also bidding to buy Habitat, but that Home Retail Group and Hilco are involved in detailed talks. 

Kleinman said: "I'm told that the talks have evolved significantly from an initial discussion about a licensing agreement between the two companies."

Habitat was founded in London in 1964 by renowned designer Sir Terence Conran, along with his wife and model Pagan Taylor. 

It is known for its stylish furniture and tasteful interior accessories, selections of which are the subject of its window displays.