Outdoor clothing specialist Musto is to refinance its debts to facilitate its European expansion.

The retailer, which is backed by private equity firm Phoenix, is to start a process of financial restructuring over the next few weeks according to The Sunday Telegraph.

The sailing-focused chain, which sponsors Olympic equestrian Zara Philips and the British sailing team, is understood to have hired one of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms to review its bank loans, currently held with Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

The retailer’s holding company, Musto Topco, made a £1.46m loss on sales of £30.7m in 2010. As of December 2010, the holding company had bank loans totalling £19.6m.

It is unclear how much of this is to be refinanced.

Despite the continuing harsh outlook for retail, Musto insists the refinancing is to facilitate its expansion plans. It is looking to Europe for growth and has subsidiaries in Italy and Spain.