Citing people close to the talks, the paper said the firms involved were Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Group and the Carlyle Group. It said a deal could be announced as early as Monday, but that talks are still fluid.
French beverage company Pernod Ricard (PERP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) is selling Dunkin' Brands, which includes Dunkin' Donuts, the Baskin Robbins ice cream shops and Togo's sandwich stores.
Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last week that the three private-equity groups were ahead of other bidders for the brand. Dunkin' Donuts, the largest brand in the unit, is based near Bain and THLee's hometown of Boston.
According to those sources, private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Trimaran Capital Partners teamed up for a bid, and Providence Equity Partners and J.P. Morgan Partners also joined together for an offer, news service Reuters reports.