A pair of US “vulture funds” have reportedly been circling New Look and are attempting to buy a chunk of its £1.2bn debt.
According to The Sunday Times debt investors Anchorage Capital and HPS Investment Partners have been eyeing New Look since the retailer announced earlier this month that its Q1 underlying operating profits had dropped by 60.1% to £12.1m in what it described as a “challenging” market. Revenues were also down 4.4% in the quarter ending 24 June to £338.7m.
New Look is 90%-owned by South African investor Brait Capital, who acquired the business from PE houses Apax Partners and Permira in 2015 in a deal that placed an enterprise value on New Look of £1.9bn. The Singh family, who founded the business 40 years ago, and the company’s management acquired the remaining 10% of the business.
Last week the young fashion retailer revealed that it had signed up as a sponsor of the next edition of London Fashion Week and would be unveiling a special collection, called “The Edit”, to mark the occasion, as well as hosting events in stores across the UK.