Two of Britain’s wealthiest private investors are poised to fight it out to buy the property assets of Dawnay Day, the financial-services group.

Topland Group, founded by billionaire Sol Zakay, and Criterion Capital, headed by tycoon Asif Aziz, have submitted bids to buy a portfolio of British properties that Dawnay Day has been forced to sell by administrators.

The portfolio has a total value of about £800m including debt but is expected to fetch less than that as Dawnay is a distressed seller. The group, run by Guy Naggar and Peter Klimt, had been trying to find buyers for the assets for a number of weeks with the assistance of Lewis & Partners, an investment agency.

The sale was taken out of Dawnay’s hands when it brought in Ernst & Young last weekend as emergency advisers after losing £80m on the forced sale of a stake in F&C Asset Management.

Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Independent on Sunday