Dawnay Day, the £2bn investment firm, is expected early this week to appoint Ernst & Young as administrators to some of its businesses as it becomes the latest victim of the credit crisis.

It has put its investment banking division up for sale as the privately owned financial group scrambles to raise cash after being hit by hefty losses on investments.

The financial conglomerate, which owns the retailer Austin Reed and a 50% stake in London’s top-end restaurant The Wolseley, is thought to have run into trouble last week and called in E&Y.

The company completed a £750m refinancing at the beginning of this year, but the patience of some of the company’s backers appears to have run out.

Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Financial Times