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New Look to build international arm before IPO

New Look could consider going public, but not for at least 18 months, according to chief executive Anders Kristiansen.

Speaking as the business revealed EBITDA had risen 9.9% to £187m in the 39 weeks to December 28, Kristiansen said an IPO could be on the cards in the medium term, but said he wanted to build the business internationally first.

New Look is launching in China at the end of February with two stores in Shanghai and Beijing, and a further three planned shortly after. By the end of the year, the retailer expects to have 12-15 stores in the country.

It is also looking to drive forward its presence in countries where it has an existing presence, including Poland and Russia, while exiting less strategically important countries such as Thailand and Morocco, where there is less opportunity for future growth.

Kristiansen said: “We would like to build a solid business and execute our strategy… once we have that up and running, once we have got some credible traction on the international market, that is when you can start debating whether to do an IPO.”

He estimated this would be anything from 18 months to three years away. 

New Look has twice pulled back from an IPO in the past, with the business citing an unfavourable market backdrop for its decision in 2010, while in 2007 it was due to lack of interest.

Last year the business refinanced its £1.1bn debt burden through an £800m bond issue.

 

 

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