British supermarket group Sainsbury's said it had made a formal offer worth £1.4 billion for Home Retail Group, owner of catalogue chain Argos.
The cash-and-stock takeover is worth the equivalent of $2.0bn or 1.8bn euros. Argos sells household items, including televisions, furniture and gardening tools.
With South African household goods group Steinhoff having walked away from the bidding process, it appeared likely that Sainsbury's will see its offer accepted according to analysts.
The sale of HRG's home improvements and gardening chain Homebase to Australian business Wesfarmers is meanwhile a condition of the deal going through.
"The UK grocery retail industry is undergoing a period of intense change in customer shopping behaviour," Sainsbury's chairman David Tyler said in a statement detailing the offer.
Sainsbury's is already working with HRG to test a number of Argos concessions in its supermarkets.