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Brait to pay $1B for control of retailer New Look

South African investment house Brait will pay $1 billion for a controlling stake in British fashion retailer New Look, it said on Friday.

New Look, owned by private equity groups Apax and Permira as well as founder Tom Singh, has 600 stores in the UK and Ireland and trades from a further 200 across Europe, China, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Brait said it will buy a 90 percent stake in New Look for 780 million pounds ($1.23 billion), putting the retailer at an enterprise value of 1.9 billion pounds.

"Brait will fund the purchase consideration using facilities and cash on hand," the company said in a statement.

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New Look Chief Executive Anders Kristiansen told reporters in February that the retailer was ready for a stock market flotation, though that decision was up to the owners.

New Look pulled a planned stock market listing in 2010 amid turbulent financial markets.

In April Brait bought an 80 percent controlling stake in gym group Virgin Active for $1 billion, seeking to tap the growing health-conscious middle classes, particularly in Africa and Asia.