South Africa's Brait buys Britain's New Look for $1.2B

Women hold New Look shopping bags on Oxford Street in London, February 12, 2010. REUTERS/SUZANNE PLUNKETT

African investment heavyweight Brait SE (BATJ.J) said it will pay $1.2 billion for virtually all of budget clothes retailer New Look, giving it a substantial presence in Britain’s fiercely competitive fashion retail market.

The deal puts Brait, whose top shareholder is South African retail mogul Christo Wiese, in the middle of the crowded British high street, where New Look [NEWOON.UL] vies with Primark, part of AB Foods (ABF.L), Next (NXT.L) and H&M (HMb.ST).

New Look, owned by private equity groups Apax [APAX.UL] and Permira, as well as founder Tom Singh, has 600 stores in the UK and Ireland and trades from a further 200 across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia including China where it wants to expand.

Read more: South Africa’s Brait buys Britain’s New Look for $1.2 billion | Reuters