Struggling privately-owned retailer, Littlewoods, is poised to make a statement today over reports that it is in talks over a £500m takeover bid.

Newspaper reports say that Littlewoods has been approached by N Brown, the home shopping group controlled by Sir David Alliance and his family.

 It is believed N Brown is offering a "mix and match" deal that includes cash, loan notes and shares.

A Littlewoods spokesman told just-style: "We are going to issue a statement at some stage today.

" Both Littlewoods and N Brown are based in the north west of the country. Littlewoods is based in Liverpool while N Brown's home' is in Manchester.

Littlewoods sold its football pools and gaming business, the original core, after it was hit by the National Lottery.

 Earlier this year in February, there were rumours, later quashed, about a takeover by arch-rival, Great Universal Stores.

GUS is the market leader in the home shopping world, followed by Littlewoods in second place and Freemans in third place.

Three years ago, an attempt by Littlewoods to buy Freemans was blocked by the Department of Trade and Industry.