March 7, 2018 / 1:37 PM / in 2 months

British retailer New Look proposes closing stores, making redundancies to cut costs

LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) - British fashion retail chain New Look on Wednesday sought approval from its creditors to cut 980 staff and close more than 60 stores after performing poorly and finding it difficult to repay its debt.

In a statement the company, which opened its first store in 1969 and is owned by South African Brait , said it had identified 60 out of its total 593 stores in Britain for potential closure, as well as a further 6 sites which are sub-let to third parties.

Brait SE is a South African investment heavyweight in which tycoon Christo Wiese owns about a third of its stock. Wiese is the top shareholder in Steinhoff, which dropped sharply after revealing accounting irregularities.

Its company voluntary arrangement proposal also includes a reduction in rental costs and revised lease terms across 393 stores. As a result of the shop closures, a maximum of 980 colleagues out of a staff base of 15,300 people in Britain will be made redundant, the company said, adding that all efforts will be made to redeploy staff within the business.

Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva, editing by Louise Heavens

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