New Look signals unlikely to relaunch IPO soon

BERLIN (BestGrowthStock) – British budget fashion retailer New Look is ready to revive its flotation plans if market conditions improve, but is not sure there will be an opportunity next year, its chief executive told Reuters on Monday.

Carl McPhail said in an interview at the World Retail Congress that trading conditions in Britain were likely to remain tough as the government hikes taxes and cuts spending to rein in its debts, although overseas markets were improving.

New Look, taken private in 2004 by private equity firms Apax (APAX.UL: ) and Permira (PERM.UL: ) and founder Tom Singh, abandoned plans to raise 650 million pounds ($1 billion) in an initial public offering in February amid turbulent financial markets.

“The reality for me is the consumer has got some pain, I think, to go through. I don’t think that will flush through for the next year,” McPhail said.

“Are we in a position where we could (relaunch the IPO)? Yes. But would we realize the value for the business that we think is inherent in the business and the investment we’ve made over time? I’m not sure.

“So (we’re) cautious about 2011. But, if the markets switch, we’ll be there.”

(Reporting by Mark Potter; Editing by Louise Heavens)

New Look signals unlikely to relaunch IPO soon