Permira, the owner of the frozen foods giant Iglo, is looking for a price of €2.8bn (£2.2bn) from bidders for the business.
The private-equity groups BC Partners and Blackstone have teamed up to put in a joint bid for the maker of Birds Eye brands.
Blackstone owns Pinnacle, a US foods group which owns the rights to the Birds Eye brand in the US.
It had previously been thought that Blackstone was competing with BC on the deal, but the two appear to have joined forces for tonight's auction deadline.
Rival private equity firm PAI Partners pulled out of the auction process after failing to find a partner to share the cost.