Several meetings have taken place between interested parties and Woolworths' administrator, Deloitte, since the retailer went into administration last week.
Pahpitis is thought to be interested in a number of Woolworths’ previously profitable stores. He made his name reviving ailing retail chains Rymans and La Senza.
According to Marketing Week, Tesco and Waitrose are also thought to be among potential bidders and are believed to interested in buying some outlets.
Woolworths’ majority shareholder, Ardeshir Naghshineh – the man who helped ensure the bid from ‘rescue specialists’ Hilco fell through – is believed to be making plans to make a bid for the whole group including distribution arm EUK and 2Entertain, a joint venture with the BBC.
Tony Page, who runs Woolworths' retail stores division is believed to be mounting a bid with other members of the management team from the firm’s retail division.
Deloitte is compiling a shortlist of bidders and says that the chain’s 30,000 staff should keep their jobs until at least Christmas.