Supermarket chain Sainsbury's has made a formal £1.4bn bid for Argos owner Home Retail Group (HRG), BBC reports.
Its move came shortly after a rival suitor for HRG, South Africa's Steinhoff International, withdrew from the takeover battle.
Sainsbury's cash and shares offer values HRG shares at 172.3p each.
Under UK takeover rules, both Sainsbury's and Steinhoff had been set a deadline of 17:00 GMT to make a firm offer or walk away.
The board of HRG said it had noted the announcement by Sainsbury's, and that it looked forward to working with them towards a recommendation of the offer.