New Look holds talks with raft of bankers ahead of IPO

High street fashion chain New Look is ramping up plans for its possible &pound;1.7bn stock market flotation next year and has met with a roster of heavyweight bankers.<br /><br />The budget fashion chain, owned by private equity firms Apax and Permira, is believed to have held a beauty parade of possible advisers including Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Nomura and JPMorgan Cazenove. As yet it is understood no bank has been appointed to the role of adviser as New Look&rsquo;s immediate focus is on a successful Christmas trading period.<br /><br />In the year to March 2008, the group reported a 15 per cent growth in sales to &pound;1.3bn, while profits were up 10 per cent to &pound;217.6m. <br /><br />New Look, which was founded in 1969 by Tom Singh, who still owns 22 per cent of the group, was taken private by Apax and Permira in 2004 for &pound;699m. In 2007 the retailer&rsquo;s private equity owners abandoned plans to sell the company after bidders failed to meet their near &pound;2bn asking price.