Fashion group Aurora Fashions is to spin-off occasionwear specialist Coast as it separates its business to facilitate a future sale.

Aurora did the same to Karen Millen in 2011. The move gave it a separate financing structure to enable it to fund rapid expansion overseas.

Aurora chairman Derek Lovelock told Retail Week it was its intention to make all brands self-sufficient. He said: “It’s worked well with Karen Millen. We like the model of self-sufficiency and accountability for each of the brands. They all have different needs and ultimately it will facilitate a sale.”

He said it is likely that Oasis and Warehouse will follow a similar route.

Lovelock insisted that there are no imminent plans to start a sale process.

Coast has 41 standalone stores and 166 concessions in the UK. It also trades from 109 shops overseas.

Lovelock said the new finance structure would allow Coast to continue in its strategy of opening a series of flagships.

It launched a new store format on Oxford Street, developed with furniture and restaurant designer Lee Broom, which is rolling out to other key locations, including its Trinity Leeds store which opens next month.

It is also aiming to expand its growing number of franchises overseas.

There is also speculation that Aurora chief executive Mike Shearwood is considering a management buyout of Karen Millen. But sources suggested if this does happen, it won’t be until next year.

Aurora emerged out of the administration of Mosiac Fashion in 2009. Aurora’s profits fell by 15.3% to £12.7m over the year to last February, following an underperformance of its womenswear brand Bastyan.

The fashion group is majority owned by failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing.