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New Look unlikely to float until 2012

New Look is unlikely to make another attempt to float before 2012 because of deteriorating conditions on the high street, according to reports.

The value chain, which was taken private six years ago for £800m by founder Tom Singh and buy-out groups Apax Partners and Permira, planned to make an initial public offering for £1.7bn in February.

However, it abandoned the float amid investor concerns about private equity backed businesses and difficult market conditions.

At the time it was expected to try again in 2011 but it is now expected to delay at least another year because of uncertainty in the retail sector.

New Look is understood to have been trading in line with other retailers, but investors are likely to cool on retail businesses if conditions on the high street become more difficult in the wake of January’s VAT hike and public spending cuts.

Some investors were also put off in February by the fact New Look was raising money to cut its £1bn debt, according to the Financial Times.

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