Analysts say it is likely that cashmere firm Dawson International will be split up if the business is sold.

Dawson admitted nine days ago it was in early discussions with several parties over a possible sale.

It is not yet clear who potential bidders might be, but some sources have suggested that Italian investors including ex-deputy chairman Giovanni Ghione could be interested.

One analyst told The Scotsman newspaper: "I would have thought that whoever buys it would split it up. They have got cash on the balance sheet.

"The market cap is GBP16m (US$30.96m) and you could argue that the brand names are worth more than that. Todd & Duncan is the jewel in the crown."

Dawson has been fighting to survive against increasing costs and cheap imports.