Standard Life and IT firm Mastek are tipped as frontrunners to acquire Focus Solutions after the firm announced it was in acquisition talks.
Money Marketing understands that a deal to buy the technology firm has been under discussion for the last six months.
Focus, whose customers include Prudential, St James’s Place and Openwork, announced last week it is holding preliminary takeover talks.
In a statement, Focus said: “The board notes the recent movement in its share price and confirms that it is in preliminary discussions which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the entire issued share capital of the company.
“Discussions are at an early stage and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made.”
Standard Life is thought to be a likely bidder for Focus as the acquisition would provide the technology to integrate with a point-of-sale system.
Standard Life acquired support services firm Threesixty in March, increasing its original 25 per cent stake in the business.
A Standard Life spokeswoman says: “It is our policy not to comment on market speculation.”
A spokeswoman for Focus adds: “We have no further information other than what was included in our statement.”
Mastek denies it is in talks to acquire Focus.