New Look’s multichannel capabilities have helped to clinch a £780m sale of the company that is set to see it expand into new markets including China.
Investment holding company Brait SE is to buy a 90% majority holding in the business, mostly from funds advised by Apax Partners and Permira. The remaining 10% will be bought by Singh family interests, representing New Look founder Tom Singh, and by current management. In a joint statement released today, the parties said New Look’s attractions included its “well-developed multichannel offering via traditional stores and a fast growing ecommerce platform incorporating click and collect options.”
Other assets included its infrastructure, including a state-of-the-art distribution centre and the efficiency of its fast fashion model. The company has shown strong growth in profits as it has taken more of the value sector in recent years.
John Gnodde, chief executive of Brait, said “New Look is an attractive investment opportunity for Brait – it is a market leading brand, with a strong track record of double digit EBITDA growth, solid cashflow conversion, international reach, and the potential to grow rapidly in a number of geographic markets including China. We have been highly impressed with the management team and look forward to partnering with them.”
Anders Kristiansen, chief executive of New Look, said: “We are delighted to have announced this transaction. Brait have a track record of long-term and supportive investments – they give us the perfect platform to continue our strategy of growing the New Look brand in the UK, Europe and China.”
The deal will see the new owners take on £1bn in debt, and the new owners suggest they will keep that at a similar level.
Martin Halusa, chairman of Apax Partners said: “Funds advised by Apax Partners and Permira are glad to have accompanied New Look on its international expansion and ecommerce growth and delivered substantial returns to its investors. We would like to thank Anders Kristiansen and his team for their work in driving this strategy successfully.”