Around 27 million Sainsbury’s shares once owned by Icelandic bank Kaupthing were placed in the market yesterday.

It is understood that JP Morgan Cazenove placed the shares on behalf of the bank’s administrator Ernst & Young.

According to The Telegraph, the shares are believed to have been sold at 310p, giving the value of the stake at £84.3m.

The Kaupthing stake was originally held by investor Robert Tchenguiz. It was seized by Kaupthing, which was Tchenguiz’s financial backer, in October last year after the lender called in a loan. Tchenguiz was then forced to sell his stake in the retailer at an estimated loss of £600m.

Separately, HSBC said it had placed a 13.1 per cent stake in department store Debenhams.

The stake was owned by Landsbanki Islands and previously held by Baugur. The stake of up to 115.8m shares was offered at a range of 40-45p per share. It is understood that it was sold at the top of this range.

Analysts said the placing makes it more likely Debenhams could seek to raise capital to reduced its debt burden.