Bidders are gearing up for an auction of Phones 4u, according to reports.
Private equity group BC Partners is deciding whether to submit bids of between £600m and £700m, the Financial Times said.
BC partners is competing with at least one other trade bidder, while Everything Everywhere and Blackstone have dropped out.
In November, Mobile revealed Phones 4u had selected a 'small number' of bidders to go through to the second round of its sale process.
Phones 4u's owner, Providence Equity Partners, hired Deutsche Bank to launch an auction in October.
The high street mobile retailer was bought by Providence in 2006, from founder John Caudwell.
Caudwell sold the distribution and logistics business, 20:20, to Doughty Hanson, as part of the same transaction for £1.46bn in total, according to previous reports.
Under Providence’s ownership the buyout debt has been cut to £184m from £500m and the company generated £126m in earnings before, interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for the year ended 30 September 2010. Expected revenue for 2010 is £850m.
Analysts are estimating a sale price of £700m to £800m, with final bids expected next week.