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New Look set to refinance

Fashion retailer New Look is poised to take another step forward in its refinancing, it is understood.

New Look has reached an agreement with senior lenders to extend the maturity of debt and a deal may be formalised as early as this week, Drapers understands.

The deal will allay concern over the extent of New Look’s debt.

The retailer, which has net debt of about £1bn, has been in discussions with lenders for some time.

Repayment timings are staggered and it is thought the latest rescheduling of an undisclosed amount will extend terms until 2015, in line with other borrowings.

Further refinancing is likely. New Look chief executive Alistair McGeorge wants to overhaul New Look’s capital structure to put the retailer on a firmer footing.

At some point the issue of PIK-notes – an especially expensive form of debt – will have to be addressed. About £700m of New Look’s debt is in PIK notes.

In March it was reported that New Look founder Tom Singh had encouraged private equity backers Apax and Permira to sell their 80% stake but the idea was rejected.

Drapers contacted New Look but the retailer declined to comment.

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