Brait, a South African investment company run by retail billionaire Christoffel Wiese who owns more than 1200 corporate outlets and Shoprite, bought a 90 percent stake in Leading British fast-fashion brand New Look for 780 million pounds ($1.2 billion). The deal values the company, which is being sold by private equity firms Apax Partners and Permira, at 1.9 billion pounds ($2.99 billion), debt included.
The family of New Look’s founder, Tom Singh, will acquire the remaining 10 percent.
“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,” Brait CEO John Gnodde said in a statement.
New Look CEO Anders Kristiansen, CFO Mike Iddon and CCO Roger Whitman will remain with the company.
Kristiansen expressed his excitement over the transaction saying, “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 nearly 50-year-old retailer sells clothing, footwear and accessories for women and men and has more than 800 stores in 21 countries including 569 in the U.K. and 19 in China.
“After 11 years of successful partnership, the New Look brand is stronger than ever and the company’s ecommerce and international operations are showing significant growth,” Permira partner Mike Garland said.
Brait specializes in driving sustainable, long-term growth and value creation. The company recently bought 80 percent of Virgin Active, Virgin Group’s chain of health clubs, for $1 billion.