New Look has pulled its IPO process, citing an unfavourable market backdrop.

New Look chief executive Carl McPhail said: “We have taken the difficult decision to postpone the Initial Public Offering as a result of the considerable volatility in the Equity Markets. We remain convinced of the strengths of the New Look business and its suitability as a public company. We will re-evaluate our options when
market conditions improve.”

The general retail sector has been derated by the City since Christmas and in the last two days two floats have been pulled in other sectors.

New Look was scheduled to publish its IPO prospectus on Monday to raise £650m of new shares through the flotation to reduce its debt. It is understood that investors have expressed concern over the fast fashion retailer’s ability to grow further in the UK and that its international expansion story is unproven.

The news came as rival value retailer Matalan pulled its sale process after interested parties balked at the £1.5bn price-tag set by founder John Hargreaves.

The IPO focus will now fall on online grocer Ocado and fashion group Supergroup, which have both outlined intentions to float.