Harold Tillman, the previous part-owner of Allders of Croydon, is mulling a bid for the failed department store in the south London town.
He is one of a handful of parties considering a bid for the 150-year-old department store.
The store fell into administration last month and is trading as a going concern. Potential bidders include retail turnaround specialist Hilco, which also previously owned a stake in Allders, as well as department store chain Beales.
Mr Tillman is thought to be in talks with potential partners.
He said: "I originally rescued the store seven years ago in order to save almost 900 jobs. At the time, landlords Minerva assured us we would get a new department store as part of a redevelopment.
"Unfortunately, after many promises this never materialised. Then came the riots. It destroyed the sentiment in the town."
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