Dart Group Corp. reportedly has made a bid to join the $1.16 billion buyout of the Ohio-based Revco D. S. Inc., the nation's fourth-largest drugstore chain.

Dart, the Landover, Md., company run by the Herbert Haft family, has been trying to buy a major company for the past two years, including the nation's second-largest drugstore chain, Jack Eckerd Corp. in Florida.

According to a report in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Dart began making overtures to join a planned leveraged buyout of Revco about a week ago. An investor group led by Revco management was proposing to buy the chain, using its assets and cash flow to finance the acquisition.

However, talks broke down and Dart's bid was turned down, the Journal reported. Dart officials could not be reached for comment. Members of Revco's buyout group also were unavailable.

Nonetheless, the price of Revco stock continued to climb yesterday, closing at $39.62 1/2, up 87 1/2 cents from Friday, with 1.2 million shares traded. The closing price was nearly $4 higher than the management group's buyout offer of $33 a share in cash and preferred stock valued at another $3 a share.

The higher trading price is an indication that Wall Street believes a higher bid for Revco might be forthcoming. Among the speculation is that Dart, having been rebuffed, might make a higher bid.

Having sold its own 73-unit drugstore chain two years ago for $160 million, Dart has been looking to acquire another retailer. "We really want to replace our drugstore business with a large business," Haft said two months ago.

Dart made an unsuccessful bid for The May Co. as well as for Eckerd, only to receive substantial profits when it sold the stock in both companies.

Then, last November, the company made a last-minute, $5.2 billion bid for Beatrice Cos. Inc. But Beatrice instead accepted the offer of its initial suitor, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

The Beatrice bid was made as Dart was raising $250 million in debentures issued to fund a takeover bid.