Robert Tchenguiz has offered $644m (£350m) to buy the Odeoncinemas in a move to prevent the company being auctioned, according to the UK'sSunday Times.

The deal has the support of German bank WestLB, whichcontrols 43% Odeon and whose stake was set to be auctioned, according to theSunday Times.

Tchenguiz, who already owns 35% of Odeon is understood tohave the backing of Iceland's Kaupthing Bank, the newspaper said. If Tchenguizsucceeds, Kaupthing would have a minority stake, it reported.

Property tycoon Tchenguiz was part of a consortium,including Nigel and Trevor Green's Entertainment Group and West LB, thatacquired Odeon last year from private equity firm Cinven for $791m (£430m).