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New Look appoints new owner's chief executive as chairman

New Look has finalised the sale of the business to private equity firm Brait and and appointed John Gnodde, chief executive of Brait, as non-executive chairman.

Brait, owned by South African billionaire Christo Wiese, acquired a 90% stake in May in a deal that valued the UK’s second-largest womenswear retailer at £1.9bn. The deal was completed on June 25.

Gnodde replaces Paul Mason, former chief executive of Asda and the current chairman of Cath Kidston, on the board.

New Look confirmed it had successfully refinanced its £1bn debt, which optimises its capital structure, reduces costs, extends maturities to 2022 and eliminates the company’s former PIK loans.

Anders Kristiansen, chief executive, said: “The acquisition of our equity by Brait, coupled with our successful refinancing, leaves us strongly positioned to achieve our strategic goals. It gives us additional flexibility as we continue to deliver on our strategic priorities of brand, multichannel, international expansion, product development and menswear.”

Wiese is also backing the new value chain Pep&Co, which previewed its first store in Kettering on June 25.

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