Michael Ziff, the chairman of Stylo, the shoe-shop owner that has collapsed into administration, was last night working up a detailed plan to buy back up to 200 of its 380 stores, in a move that could safeguard about 3,000 jobs.

City sources said that Ziff, whose family owns 65% of the group which trades as Barratt and Priceless, was in detailed talks with the administrator, Deloitte, this weekend. The sources said his plan had been codenamed Project Mitch.

Ziff is the clear favourite to buy back parts of the business and is among a handful of seriously interested buyers.

The Sunday Times