New Look mulls trade sale or debt deal after £1.7bn IPO pulled at last minute

VALUE fashion retailer New Look will consider options including a trade sale and a refinancing package after its private equity owners pushed back plans for a £1.7bn flotation on Friday.

Apax, Permira and the company’s management became the latest dealmakers to pull an initial public offering (IPO) after fund managers baulked at the price. The flotation, codenamed “Project Runway”, would have raised £650m. Around £600m would have been used to pay down high-interest payment in kind notes.

New Look chief executive Carl McPhail said the team would “re-evaluate our options when market conditions improve”.

It is understood a trade sale would be acceptable at the right price, although no serious offers have been forthcoming. The board is also mulling a refinancing package which could involve a bond issue or taking on more debt. One source said the company had “ample headroom” in terms of its covenants despite its £1.2bn debt pile.

Investment banks advising New Look will miss millions of pounds in fees after the IPO was cancelled.