Cath Kidston sold to Hilco, plans expansion at home and abroad
It's official. After several days of speculation, restructuring specialist Hilco Capital has acquired the Cath Kidston brand from its previous owner Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA), which had long been an investor in the company and took full control of it in 2016.
It's not known how much it paid for the business, which BPEA had re-acquired in a pre-pack administration deal after it collapsed in 2020 in the wake of the first UK lockdown.
What Hilco has bought is a brand in a much better position than it was in two years ago. Marty Wikstrom, non-executive chairman, said: “Following our pivot during Covid, the company is performing strongly and orders from our International and UK franchisees and wholesale partners grew 40% for the year ending March 2022.”
Hilco Capital also said it’s been a long-time fan of the Cath Kidston brand.
The news that the company is performing well is encouraging given the upheaval it went through in 2020 after the administration filing. That saw it closing its UK store estate, and cutting jobs, although it later reopened its London flagship on Piccadilly. It went from being a brand that had around 60 stores in its domestic market to a more digitally-focused label.
Sales reportedly reached £29 million for the year ending this March, although that didn't come exclusively from its online operations. As mentioned, there’s its UK flagship, and it also has 95 concessions, plus a wholesale business and operations in 10 countries via eight international franchise partners.
While the company wants to grow in its home market, these international ops are also key to the brand’s future with 35% of its revenues coming from outside of the UK and the company targeting growth in the US and Japan in particular.
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