Business

Landlords back New Look restructuring plans protecting hundreds of jobs in 26 NI stores

New Look has 26 stores in Northern Ireland. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire.
Henry Saker-Clark

FASHION chain New Look has said that creditors and landlords have given its major restructuring deal the thumbs up.

It said the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) deal will reduce its rent bill and safeguard thousands of jobs at the retailer, including hundreds in Northern Ireland, where it operates 26 stores.

New Look said it will also pump £40 million of new funding into its operations and slash its debts to help shore up its finances.

It announced its restructuring plans last month after enforced store closures following the coronavirus outbreak exacerbated already tough retail conditions.

Last week, New Look said it could be forced to consider "less favourable alternatives", which were understood to include liquidation, if landlords did not approve its CVA.

The CVA, which needed at least 75 per cent creditor approval, will also include new lease contracts on its stores based on turnover, aimed at helping the business as high street footfall gradually recovers.

Nigel Oddy, chief executive officer of New Look, said: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank our landlords and creditors for their support for our CVA, which, alongside the consequential financial restructuring that will now be progressed, will provide us with enhanced financial strength and flexibility, and a sustainable platform for future trading and investment.

"We still fundamentally believe the physical store has a significant part to play in the overall retail market and our omnichannel strategy.

"We look forward to working closely with our landlords and all creditors to ensure we can navigate the uncertain times ahead together."

Daniel Butters, CVA supervisor at Deloitte said: "The approval of the CVA is an important milestone in New Look's restructuring, enabling the business to move forward.

"The CVA will provide a stable platform for its management team's strategy and we wish them well for the future."

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