New Look hires new chair as it prepares for an IPO

HIGH STREET fashion chain New Look yesterday gave the strongest signal yet that it was preparing for a&nbsp; stock market flotation, by hiring City veteran John Gildersleeve as&nbsp; chairman.<br /><br />It is said that Gildersleeve will pocket a substantial &ldquo;golden hello&rdquo; to steer the company through its widely-expected IPO. Gildersleeve has previously chaired music group EMI and tobacco firm Gallaher.<br /><br />Current chairman Phil Wrigley, 56, will step down at the end of this year after a nine-year stint at the company. Wrigley was chief executive from 2004-2008.<br /><br />&nbsp; Gildersleeve&rsquo;s hiring comes a day after the private equity-owned retailer handpicked banks JP Morgan Cazenove, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse to advise on its options.<br /><br />It was expected that Wrigley would step down to make way for a successor with City experience should the retailer plough ahead with its expected &pound;1.7bn stock market listing next year. <br /><br />New Look chief executive Carl McPhail said: &ldquo;This announcement marks part of a planned transition in the next phase of New Look&rsquo;s development.&rdquo;