New Look to float on stock exchange

BUDGET High Street fashion chain New Look is planning to float on the stock exchange in a bid to raise £650m.

The company, owned by Permira and Apax, said that new shares would be used to pay down debts and help bankroll its expansion plans.

It said that a secondary sell-down by existing shareholders was a possibility.

After the IPO, New Look will have a net debt of around £450m.

Chief executive Carl McPhail, chief executive, said that he expected the IPO to complete in March.

Tom Singh, the company’s founder, holds a minority stake, along with Apax and Permira.

The company said that more than £450m had been invested by its owners since it was taken private in 2004.

McPhail said in a statement: "We are delighted that the significant transformation of New Look over recent years has positioned us as a leading UK fast fashion value retailer.

“Today’s announcement is the latest exciting stage in our development and we look forward to growing our business, both in the UK and internationally."

New Look – which has 1,000 stores including 601 in Britain – stores across Britain had a turnover of £1.3bn last year.

Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan Cazenove are acting as joint sponsors and bookrunners for the offer, with Lazzard also acting as a joint sponsor.

New Look was forced to scrap a flotation in 2007 after the credit crunch kicked-in.