The crisis in the credit markets means a proposed £1bn-plus refinancing of Somerfield by Robert Tchenguiz will not happen for months.

The group raised £850m in December by splitting off its freehold properties and issuing commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) against the estate.

It emerged in May that the consortium was seeking to sell the properties or refinance them through a new issue of CMBS. Both options now look increasingly unlikely.

An insider said talks were continuing but admitted that a deal could take at least ‘a month or two’.

Somerfield is being advised by Citigroup, Barclays Capital and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

With the recent market turmoil, it has become much harder to sell asset-backed securities. The European CMBS market saw €1.5bn (£1bn) of issuance in July, compared with €11.5bn in June, according to RBS research.