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New Look's valuation halved by private equity owner

The valuation of fast fashion group New Look has been halved by its private equity backers.

SVG Capital, a listed company that invests in the funds of private equity giant Permira – one of the retailer’s principal owners along with counterpart Apax– revealed the change in value in its preliminary results.

SVG cut the value of its holding in New Look by £12.2m to £13.5m – a change of 47% - and said: “New Look, which represents 1.2% of the private equity funds’ portfolio over the year, suffered from the worsening retail environment towards the end of 2010 and the adverse weather conditions during the Christmas period.

“A decline in like-for-like sales, a higher promotional mix and stock clearances have driven a decline in the company’s earnings and its value has been written down by £12.2m.”

New Look’s owners and management had hoped to float the retailer last year, but a planned IPO was pulled. Had the company been taken public it is likely that there would have been two profit warnings subsequently.

SVG pointed out that New Look had held on to its position as “the UK’s second largest womenswear retailer” and that its online business was growing.

The value of SVG’s stake in Hugo Boss and Valentino Group was boosted by £44.7m to £164.8m after a strong trading performance with earnings before financial charges up by more than 30% over the year.

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