The Times of London reports that CVC, the private equity house, is now in exclusive talks to buy Kwik-Fit, the vehicle repair business being sold by Ford.

The report says that CVC has apparently beaten off competition from the rival venture capital firms Apax, Permira and Paribas. The report adds that a source close to the deal said an announcement could be made "in days rather than weeks".

CVC is understood to be negotiating a price of about £300 million and the sale is being handled by Goldman Sachs.

On Jan. 11, Ford Motor Company announced that it was pursuing the sale of non-core assets and businesses as part of its Ford Revitalization Plan. Ford expects to realize more than $1 billion of cash from these divestitures in 2002.