The high street empire founded by Mike Ashley is weighing an offer for Wiggle, the online bikes retailer which collapsed into administration this week.
Sky News has learnt that London-listed Frasers Group, which is best known for its Sports Direct chain, is among the suitors circling WiggleCRC.
The collapsed company, which includes Wiggle, Chain Reaction Cycles and the Vitus and Nukeproof cycling brands, became insolvent after losing the financial support of parent company Signa Sports United.
It comes just days after Frasers struck a deal to buy Germany’s SportScheck chain, also from Signa.
Acquiring Wiggle would add it to a portfolio of retail brands which also includes Evans Cycles.
WiggleCRC employs about 450 people, and is continuing to trade during the administration process.
FRP Advisory has been appointed to handle the insolvency.
Tony Wright, partner at FRP and joint administrator, said: “WiggleCRC is one of Europe’s best-known sports retailers and has built a committed customer following in the cycling community.
“The administration provides a crucial period of protection for WiggleCRC as we prepare to market the business for sale.
“The group has a quality stable of brands and a leading market position, so we expect there to be interest and encourage potential buyers to come forward.”
Frasers’ shares have surged by more than a fifth over the last year, giving it a market capitalisation of more than £3.5bn.
Although he is no longer on the company’s board, Mr Ashley remains Frasers’ majority shareholder.
Under his stewardship, it bought a swathe of other retail brands, including the Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes, Evans Cycles and Jack Wills.
A spokeswoman for Frasers declined to comment.