The move, which was reported by the FT, comes despite the struggling company preparing to restructure its debt load of more than £1bn.
Permira and Apax are not planning to exit the investment for at least three to five years according to New Look executive chairman Alistair McGeorge.
The private equity firms took New Look private in 2004 with founder Tom Singh for a reported £800m.
They put the company up for sale in 2008 but dropped out of the auction after bidders were turned off by the £1.8bn asking price.
McGeorge said Kristiansen’s experience in China had changed the company’s perspective on the country since the new chief executive joined New Look last month.
Kristiansen previously ran Danish fashion group Bestseller’s 6,000 Chinese stores, and had been working in the country for the last 10 years.
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