AS might be expected for the largest retail float since Debenhams in 2006, a raft of investment banks have been brought in to guide New Look. Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Cazenove are joint sponsors and bookrunners. Lazard is in on the bookrunning action, while Barclays, Lloyds TSB and RBS Hoare Govett are co-lead managers.
Leading Credit Suisse’s team is chief executive James Leigh-Pemberton. A veteran dealmaker, the 53-year-old has worked on transactions such as the sale of steelmaker Corus to Tata and Heineken and Carlsberg’s purchase of Scottish & Newcastle.
Toby Clark is leading Deutsche Bank, while Naguib Kheraj is in charge at JPMorgan Cazenove. William Rucker is in the hot seat at Lazard.
Yesterday, the banks’ research analysts were busily sounding out institutional investors on both sides of the Atlantic. Despite discouraging murmurs from some fund managers who see the company as overleveraged for the price, one person involved in the deal said New Look’s strong brand made the proposition instantly more attractive.
The £450m pumped into it the company by its private equity owners over the past five years is also a plus.
Analysts and management will hit the road over the next two weeks to drum up commitments.