Sir Philip Green is facing competition from TPG, the US private equity group, in his attempt to gain control of Baugur’s UK high street assets by buying the debt of the Icelandic company.

TPG has told the Icelandic government that it is interested in acquiring the £1bn-£2bn of debt owed by Baugur to the country’s collapsed banks. The investment group’s assets include House of Fraser and Hamleys.

Sir Philip, owner of Topshop and BHS, flew to Reykjavik on Friday for talks with government officials and the new directors of Kaupthing, Landsbanki and Glitnir, the banks that were seized by the state last week as the Icelandic financial crisis took hold.

Sir Philip’s approach has also spurred other potential acquirers to contact the government in Reykjavik about Baugur. Alchemy, the firm run by Jon Moulton, has had discussions, while one person in Iceland said there were several other companies, including Permira, in the frame. All the potential bidders either declined to comment or were unavailable.

Financial Times, Daily Telegraph