Premium womenswear retailer Whistles has bought back most of the remaining shares of the company from the Icelandic Government as it looks to the US market for growth.

Whistles chief executive Jane Shepherdson said shareholders had injected more cash into the fashion chain to free it from Icelandic control, fund growth overseas and prepare the business for a possible sale, the Daily Mail said.

The Icelandic Government now holds a 10% stake in the retailer.

Backed by Icelandic bank Glitnir, Whistles was impacted by the banking collapse in 2008, which transferred the bank’s share to Reykjavik.

A Whistles spokesperson said: “The existing shareholders have demonstrated their confidence in the future of the business by investing additional funds to support the acceleration of the strategy. This investment, together with the final repayment of Glitnir’s term debt, has led to some changes in the equity structure of Whistles.”