SVG halves stake in retailer New Look

NEW LOOK’S private equity owners have slashed the value of their stake in the retail chain after tough high street conditions caused a fall in sales, according to figures.

Investment group SVG Capital – an investor in New Look through buyout group Permira, which owns a 27.7 per cent stake in the retailer – revealed it has almost halved the value of its holding in the fashion group.

Full-year results from SVG showed it cut the value of its investment in New Look by 47 per cent, to £13.5m at the end of last year from £25.7m a year earlier.

Permira is also the owner of companies such as fashion group Valentino Hugo Boss and German satellite broadcaster ProSieben. Many of these are improving, with earnings up 27 per cent across the portfolio and margins and market shares increasing.

SVG has been Permira’s largest investor by far, allowing public market investors access to Permira’s buyout funds, but it is hoping to diversify its offerings after the credit crisis badly hurt private equity deals.