New Look Meeting Friday for IPO

LONDON (Reuters) – The board of British fashion retailer New Look will meet on Friday to decide whether to proceed with its planned initial public offering (IPO), a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The meeting comes after a series of IPOs have been cancelled due to unfavourable market conditions.

New Look declined to comment.

Earlier on Thursday, theme park operator Merlin Entertainments said it had no near-term plans to float, dampening expectations for an IPO which a source close the matter had said could come this year. [ID:nLDE61A2O6]

On Wednesday, travel services group Travelport — which like Merlin is backed by private equity firm Blackstone — called off plans for a $1.8 billion listing, despite slashing the price range for shares by a quarter. [ID:nLDE6192O5]

That followed a string of other scrapped IPOs involving Belgian, British and German companies. [ID:nLDE6192O5]

New Look, owned by private equity firms Permira and Apax as well as founder Tom Singh and management, said earlier this month it hoped to raise 650 million pounds ($1 billion) in an IPO to cut its debt.

(Reporting by Mark Potter; Editing by Gary Hill)