Dec 3, 2009
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New Look picks new chairman ahead of possible IPO

Dec 3, 2009

LONDON, Dec 3 (Reuters) - British budget fashion chain New Look named John Gildersleeve, the chairman of mobile phone group Carphone Warehouse (CPW.L), as its next chairman, in the latest sign it is gearing up for a stock market return next year.

Photo: www.newlook.co.uk

Gildersleeve, who has also chaired music group EMI and tobacco firm Gallaher, will succeed Phil Wrigley as non-executive chairman in January, New Look said on Thursday 3 December.

A source close to the matter told Reuters in September that Wrigley would leave New Look if it floated, in part because he is a former chief executive of the business.

British corporate governance guidelines are that a chief executive should not become chairman of the same company.

Wrigley, who become chairman in April 2008, helped to take New Look private in 2004 with private equity firms Permira [PERM.UL], Apax [APAX.UL] and founder Tom Singh, and has a stake in the business.

He has declined to comment on the size of the stake, but a spokeswoman said he had no plans to sell it.

On Wednesday 2 December, an industry source told Reuters that New Look had picked banks to handle a possible initial public offering and a decision would be taken in the new year.

New Look has said it is considering an IPO as one of a number of options.

(Reporting by Mark Potter, editing by James Davey) (([email protected]; +44 20 7542-2943; Reuters Messaging: [email protected]))

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