New Look bondholders move to protect their investments

A group of New Look bondholders have formed a committee and appointed the investment bank Rothschild amid fears of a restructuring at the struggling fashion chain.

New Look

New Look is expected to reveal further losses and falling sales when it releases a trading update this week, following more than £10 million losses reported in November.

According to The Times, the group of bondholders of New Look include private equity firm Carlyle, CQS, M&G Investments, Alcentra, and Avenue Capital Group, who fear their interests might be threatened by a potential financial overhaul.

New Look has debts of more than £1 billion, and a series of insurers stopped offering insolvency cover to suppliers, or reduced their coverage levels, at the beginning of the year. This means suppliers could be at risk of not getting paid if the chain collapses, and are more likely to seek upfront payment for goods.

Bondholders are concerned the lack of credit insurance could impact New Look’s liquidity, reports The Times.

The company, founded in 1969 in Taunton, Somerset, saw its value written down to zero by its South African owner in November. Brait had acquired New Look for £780 million in 2015.

The British fashion brand has been hit by weakening consumer demand and the shift towards online shopping amid fierce competition in the UK retail market. The company has more than 590 stores in the UK and 300 across Europe, China and Asia.

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