Private equity backers want buyer
The private equity owners of the UK's third largest womenswear retailer New Look are considering selling the business for as much as£2 billion after buying it for£700 million just three years ago.

Reports today say that UK private equity firms Permira and Apax, which own a 66 per cent stake in the retailer, have received several approaches for the business from rival private equity houses.

The Financial Times reported that Permira and Apax want to 'complete a sale within weeks' and are not interested in a stock market flotation after the relatively poor performance of Debenhams since it re-listed last year.

The Times added that Mahesh Jagtiani, who runs the Dubai-based Landmark Group, is believed to be keen on bidding for New Look. Private equity houses Texas Pacific Group, Warburg Pincus and CVC are also listed by the papers as potential bidders.

New Look has increased its trading space by 50 per cent since being taken private in a management buy-out in April 2004 and has moved into menswear and children's clothing.

New Look has appointed investment bank Merill Lynch to run the sale.