CC and Slaughters score main roles on New Look’s £650m IPO

Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May have been handed the mandates to advise on New Look’s IPO in a deal that is expected to raise £650m for the company.

Slaughters is advising New Look and its majority shareholder, a holding ­company owned by private equity houses Permira Advisers, Apax Partners and New Look founder Tom Singh. Collectively they own around 80 per cent of the business, with the remainder held by its employees.

Slaughters partners ­Martin Hattrell and Simon Nicholls are leading the team acting on the deal, with partner Matthew Tobin ­giving advice on financing matters and partner Eddie Codrington advising on pensions issues.

Clifford Chance, which advised Apax and Permira on their 2004 acquisition of New Look, is acting for the bookrunners and sponsors on the deal and also has a separate role as counsel to Permira.

Partner Adrian Cart-wright is advising sponsors and bookrunners, including Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Cazenove.

Private equity partner Jonny Myers is acting for Permira. Apax and Singh are also receiving separate advice from Ashurst corporate head Stephen Lloyd and ­Macfarlanes partner Robert Boyle respectively.

Davis Polk & Wardwell is advising New Look on the US aspects of the deal, with partner John Meade leading.

When New Look was taken private in 2004 Singh turned to Allen & Overy partner Alan Paul for advice, while the company’s management was advised by Simmons & Simmons partner Damon Le Maitre-George.

While New Look’s ­owners had also been considering a secondary sale to another private equity firm, it is understood that they ­decided against following a twin-track exit strategy.

The news comes at a time of increased activity for the private equity sector. Last month TheLawyer.com reported (27 January) that Clifford Chance had missed out on a role on Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ (KKR) £955m buyout of retailer Pets at Home, with the US private equity house turning to regular adviser Simpson Thacher & Bartlett for all aspects of the deal.

This came after Clifford Chance partner Adam Signy defected to Simpson Thacher last year, giving the US firm, which is a longstanding finance adviser to KKR, a UK M&A capability for the first time.