LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, is bidding against London-based mezzanine investor Intermediate Capital to acquire legal and patent services company CPA for £400m.
Both bidders have already arranged bank financing for the deal.
Based in Jersey in the Channel Islands, CPA Global employs 1,600 people and provides a range of general legal and intellectual property support services. Last year it had revenues of £150m and currently has 300 shareholders.
Final bids are due next month in November for the patent business.