A private shareholder is poised to launch a rival takeover bid for Moss Bros in competition with Icelandic investor Baugur.

The investor is thought to be sounding out potential allies to build a consortium to secure funding, possibly including members of the Moss and Gee families, which hold a 27 per cent stake in the retailer.

Baugur made an indicative offer on Monday for Moss Bros of 42p a share, equivalent to£40 million. A board representative of the families, Mark Bernstein, dissented from the decision to give Baugur access to the books.

A source said that Moss Bros has been “so besotted by Baugur that they have taken their eye off the ball with regard to running the business”.

Chairman Keith Hamill, who will resign in April, insists that the business will be able to restructure more effectively under Baugur’s private ownership and blamed problems on the consumer slowdown.