New Look has sold its French business Mim for an undisclosed sum, to a Hong Kong-based company about which relatively little information has been made available.
Main Asia (HK) was established earlier this year to acquire Mim, and the main shareholders and management are “active in apparel and textile manufacturing and trading, along with a signficant experience in high-end brand management”, the official statement issued today said.
New Look has entered a share sale and purchase agreement with Main Asia, which was being advised by Asia Global, and expects the deal to be completed this side of Christmas.
Under its new ownership the retailer, which has 274 wholly-owned stores in France and Belgium, plus 86 concessions in France, Morocco and Romania, will not change strategy. Main Asia said it did not expect to make “substantial modification” to the current company organisation.
Financial details are not being disclosed, although New Look said it expects to recover “at least” the net assets of Mim it currently owns – typically property, stock, goodwill and so on.
Earlier this year New Look was forced to write down £64.2m of Mim's net assets, leading the group to post a £55m statutory pre-tax loss for the year to March 29, compared with a £3.1m profit the year before.
A spokeswoman said she was unable to give any further details.
New Look has been attempting to offload the underperforming business since the start of the year, and received an indicative offer in July.
Chief executive Anders Kristiansen said:
The board is delighted to confirm the sale of Mim in such a timely manner following the strategic decision taken earlier this year to divest this business. Our focus is now squarely on the core New Look brand, expanding its presence in the UK, internationally and online.
It is the second European retailer to be sold to an Asian business this week, after Chinese conglomerate Nanjing Xiejiekou completed its deal to acquire British department store House of Fraser.