New suitors court New Look

Wednesday, 06 May 2015

The investment firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), which counts former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy among its advisers, is reportedly putting a bid together for high street fashion chain New Look.

According to Sky News, CD&R has held talks with Chinese group CDH to put in an offer for New Look, which could be worth up to 2 billion pounds. Peer Chinese private equity firms Fosun and Citic Capital were as well allegedly interested in bidding for New Look.

However, a change of –private – hands would not be the only option for the British fashion retailer, as current owners - private equity firms Apax and Permira as well as founder Tom Singh - hired JP Morgan in February to work on a potential float of the company. The latter has been the second attempt in recent years after investors balked at its levels of debt in 2010, recalls trade media.

China is one of New Look’s key markets, with about 18 stores. It also sells clothing through Alibaba’s popular Tmall website, which has about 180m buyers, highlights ‘City A.M.’

Sky News warns that the aforementioned conversations would be in the "very early days" and reports that New Look’s owners have made it plain they are courting buyers following an improvement in its own financial position and that of the broader market.

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