The billionaire owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill has asked for a valuation of the Peacocks business, potentially triggering a sale.

Tycoon Philip Day is understood to have asked for a valuation after receiving an approach following news of buyer interest in his Jaeger, Austin Reed and Jacques Vert businesses.

Day has appointed FRP to sound out potential buyers for Peacocks, The Sunday Times reported.

A source familiar with the situation emphasised that a sales process was not formally under way and that the valuation is “exploratory” at present. 

It is understood that any sale of Peacocks arising from the process would be on a solvent basis and that the Edinburgh Woollen Mill business is not part of it. 

No deadlines have been set for any interest to be expressed in Peacocks, which has 550 stores and concessions, and employs 11,000 people.

It had been previously reported that international investors, including from China, had expressed interest in some of Day’s brands.