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New Look Close to Finalizing £100m Debt Refinancing

By Mark Kleinman, City editor @MarkKleinmanSky

New Look, the well-known high street fashion chain, is currently in advanced talks with Blazehill Capital and Wells Fargo regarding a £100m debt refinancing. This move comes as a response to the challenging trading environment that clothing retailers are facing in recent times. Through this refinancing, New Look aims to gain financial breathing space.

According to insiders, discussions to replace a term loan, which matures in June 2024, have been ongoing for months. The loan is currently held by various investors including Alteri, Davidson Kempner, and the Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs.

If a successful conclusion is reached in these negotiations, it will be a welcome relief for New Look’s owners, who have previously undergone two painful rounds of financial restructuring. The company, which operates more than 400 stores in the UK and Ireland, has been working closely with Deloitte in exploring options for the ┬ú100m loan. This effort is part of New Look’s strategy to establish a sustainable long-term capital structure following significant store closures.

New Look is considered one of the largest omnichannel clothing chains in Britain, employing over 10,000 staff and attracting 10 million active customers. It holds the second-largest market share in the UK womenswear category, solidifying its position in the industry.

The AI legalese decoder can play a crucial role in this situation by providing valuable insights and analysis. It can assist in assessing various refinancing options and analyzing the legal implications and contractual obligations associated with each option. The AI legalese decoder can also provide real-time updates on market trends and regulatory changes that may impact New Look’s refinancing decision. By leveraging the power of AI, New Look can make informed decisions and navigate the complexities of the refinancing process more efficiently and effectively.

In the financial year ending on 25 March 2023, New Look reported a total revenue of £895m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of £42.2m. This represents a significant year-on-year increase of more than 67%.

A spokesperson for New Look stated, “With New Look’s c.┬ú100m term loan maturing in June 2024, the group is currently engaged in positive discussions with advisers and potential lenders regarding a refinancing. The business remains committed to achieving its strategic objectives, supported by its omnichannel strategy, fashion expertise, and value-driven products.”

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