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New Look boss: ‘It’s business as usual following sale’

New Look chief executive Anders Kristiansen has told Drapers it will be “business as usual” following the sale of the high street chain to private equity firm Brait, owned by South African billionaire Christo Wiese.

As announced this morning, Brait has acquired a 90% stake in the business for £780m. The family of New Look founder Tom Singh and the current management of the company will reinvest to acquire the remaining 10%.

Kristiansen said the deal was the “best option” for the business: “We are delighted to have found a new home for New Look and the company [Brait] wants to hold onto it long term. They are committed to our five point strategy.”

He added: “It’s business as usual for New Look. We will be doing more of the same. We’re focusing on international expansion and growing the multi-channel business. If anything we can go faster.”

Kristiansen said there will be no staff changes as a result of the buyout.

In February this year, New Look’s former private equity owners Apax Partners and Permira recruited investment banks JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs to identify potential investors. However, analysts said New Look would probably fall short of its “ambitious” £2bn target.

Apax and Permira bought the chain in 2004.

Wiese, who is currently setting up discount fashion chain Pep&Co with former Asda chief executive Andy Bond, was also linked with a takeover of BHS earlier this year before Retail Acquisitions Limited acquired the high street chain for just £1 in March.

@jillgeoghegan

Readers' comments (1)

  • The acquired are always told it's business as usual. Though it's not normally the case. Additionally, staff rarely believe it. Time will tell.

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