Fashion chain New Look is considering a floatation on the stock market as early as January, with a mooted price tag of up to £1.7bn.
It is one of the few High Street brands to have had a good recession, stealing business away from more expensive rivals such as Marks & Spencer.
It is also held up as a private equity success story. After Apax and Permira paid £699m and took the group private in 2004 – with founder Tom Singh holding onto a 22 per cent stake – some £400m has been poured into the business.
An earlier plan to re-list New Look, in 2007, came to nothing because potential stockholders shied away from a price of between £1.8bn and £2bn.
In June, New Look said like-for-like sales were up 1.4 per cent as total sales grew 15 per cent to £1.33bn.
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