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South Africa’s Brait to buy 90% stake in New Look for £780m

South African investment house Brait said Friday it will buy a 90% stake in UK fashion retailer New Look for £780m ($1.23bn).

Brait, the vehicle of South African billionaire Christo Wiese, said the acquisition values New Look at an enterprise value of £1.9bn.

New Look, owned by private equity firms Apax and Permira, had been gearing up for an initial public offering after chief executive Anders Kristiansen said the company was “ready” to join the market.

Reports in recent months have linked investment firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice and Chinese group CDH with a takeover of New Look.

New Look, which has ambitious plans to expand internationally and also grow its menswear offer to rival that of its core womenswear, saw revenues fall 1.6% to £99.9m for the 13 weeks to December 27. Pre-tax profits for the quarter grew 28% to £5.2m.

The retailer, which was founded by Tom Singh in 1969, has more than 800 stores in 21 countries.

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