Former La Senza owner Theo Paphitis is understood to be waiting for the dispute between the lingerie retailer’s private equity owner and its lender to play out before deciding whether to make a move for the business.

Lion Capital has breached the terms of its loan agreement with GSO Capital and the two are in talks about restructuring the business, which sources expect to be resolved by the end of the month. In the meantime, Paphitis, who has been linked with buying back the business, is said to be waiting until the debt issue is resolved.

However, he is thought to be nervous about making any new investments before the election and would be unwilling to buy La Senza for anything other than a rock-bottom price.

Sources said that since his non-compete restrictions following his departure from the company were lifted in December, Paphitis is free to start a rival lingerie chain of his own, although he is not thought to have taken any concrete steps to do so.

All parties involved declined to comment on the restructuring, but La Senza marketing director Lisa Bond said: “We are very pleased with our Christmas trading.”