Iceland founder Malcolm Walker has appointed advisers to back him in his battle for retention of control of the food retailer.

Walker has brought investment bank Rothschild on board and discussions have begun with potential investors, the Sunday Times reported.

Creditors of failed Icelandic bank Landsbanki want to sell their stake in Iceland, which could be valued at as much as £1.2bn.

Big grocers such as Morrisons and Asda are among those likely to cast their slide-rule over Iceland but Walker, who controls about a quarter of Iceland’s shares, has the right to match any offer.

An information memorandum is expected to be distributed by the end of next month