US private equity firm Blackstone has emerged as a surprise contender to buy fashion chain New Look. Daily Telegraph

Blackstone has met New Look’s management team in recent weeks and is in the process of deciding whether it should continue with a second-round offer for the business.

New Look was put up for sale with a £2bn price tag earlier this year and final-round bids are due at the end of June. The bids are expected to come in at between £1.6bn and £1.8bn.

News of Blackstone's interest comes amid speculation that New Look’s private equity owners, Permira and Apax, are also considering a refinancing of the business if they do not reach the £1.8bn price tag they hoped to achieve.