The nationalisation of one of Icelandic bank, Kaupthing, had a dramatic knock-on effect on property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz. He has been forced to liquidate shareholdings in British pubs group Mitchells & Butlers, UK supermarket group J Sainsbury and SCi Entertainment, the maker of computer game Lara Croft Tomb Raider. The fire sale of significant stakes in each of the businesses came after Kaupthing recalled loans.

By October 8, Tchenguiz had sold his entire stake in Sainsbury, including 88m actual shares, or about 5% of the supermarket’s stock, plus a further 84.917m shares in contracts for difference. Together, the sale represented 4.8% of Sainsbury.

Investor Joe Lewis bought 21.77% of Mitchells & Butlers through his Piedmont investment vehicle on Tuesday. Kaupthing originally enabled Tchenguiz to buy a percentage of M&B’s actual shares in July, but with Kaupthing facing major funding issues because of the financial crisis in Iceland, the bank recalled a loan to the multi-millionaire.

That move reportedly forced Tchenguiz to sell his M&B stock. According to several reports, Lewis, who is behind sports and media group Enic, bought the shares at a knockdown price of 130p per share. After the deal was announced on Wednesday, M&B’s shares traded down 7% to 152p.

Tchenguiz had intended to execute a strategy of turning M&B into a propco/opco through a tax-relief REIT. That would have finally fulfilled his ambition to realise the full value of M&B’s substantial billion pound property assets. Any dividends would have been tax free as a result.

A survey of bankers, lawyers, fund managers and other experts conducted by AlixPartners, a global business advisory firm, has found that 44% of those surveyed identified the UK as the country likely to see most restructuring activity in the coming year. In second place was Spain, identified by 18% respondents, with Germany on 17%, Italy on 7% and France on 5%.

In all, 98% of restructuring experts believe the financial meltdown will have a knock-on effect on companies throughout Western Europe, and 62% of that number believe the tide will hit by the end of this year.

The retail sector was expected to be worst hit, with 54% seeing it as one of their top three choice of sectors likely to be most affected, with 32% identifying construction or real estate and 37% the financial industry.

The AlixPartners survey polled 59 leading bankers, lawyers, fund managers and other industry experts from throughout Europe, including experts from the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, ratings agency Moody’s said it expected corporate default rates to rise sharply for non-investment grade companies in the coming year. According to its default rate forecasting model, Moody said the global speculative-grade default rate would rise to 4.2% by the end of this year and to 7.9% by the end of 2009. In Europe, the same model predicts a rise to 1.5% by the end of 2008, compared with 5.1% in the US.

The ratings agency identified durable consumer goods as the sector with the highest default rate in Europe and consumer transportation industry as the worst performer in the US.

There were a total of 10 rated corporate debt defaulters in September, to take the year to-date global total to 63. In the leveraged loan market Autocam Corporation was the only Moody’s rated loan defaulter in September.