Debenhams is being advised by its backer, private equity fund TPG, on the potential to acquire brands that may come into play following Baugur’s collapse into administration last week.
House of Fraser is also understood to be interested in some Baugur-backed fashion brands, as it and Debenhams vie for exclusivity over in-store concessions and aim to bolster their own-label brand count.
Both have concessions operated by Baugur-backed Mosaic, such as Karen Millen, Oasis and Warehouse.
House of Fraser is also likely to be interested in niche brands in which Baugur has stakes, including UK designer Matthew Williamson and Scandinavian brand Day Birger et Mikkelsen.
Bhs boss Sir Philip Green, who is also thought to be interested in gathering new brands for the department store, is believed to have expressed an interest in Principles, the Mosaic-owned fashion chain.
However, industry sources said interested parties may have a long wait. This week, Landsbanki reiterated that it was committed to retaining – via administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers – Baugur’s 14 per cent stake in Iceland, 35 per cent in House of Fraser, 38 per cent in Aurum and 64 per cent in Hamleys.
Baugur’s financial backer met House of Fraser management and said it would not be selling on its shares.
Meanwhile, Landsbanki’s fellow nationalised Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which effectively controls Mosaic after it swallowed its debt, had been close to calling in Baugur’s 49 per cent stake, which has been pledged to the bank, and take full control this week. However, it is believed to have changed its mind to avoid publicity.
Mosaic owes£400m to Kaupthing, which provided its backing and owns 20 per cent of the business. A break-up of the group has been denied by management, although it has put its Shoe Studio brand up for sale and there has been interest in Principles beyond Green, although it is not officially being marketed.