Hilco could become new Cath Kidston owner - report
Up-for-sale UK lifestyle retailer Cath Kidston’s new owner could be US-based specialist investor Hilco. It’s close to buying the brand and wholesale operations, having held “detailed talks” with owner Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA), according to a report.
Sky News — which originally broke the story about it being up for sale — said it was unclear if there were other potential buyers in the frame, although one source suggested it was “effectively Hilco's to lose”. The report added the proposed transaction was “a solvent one”, although there were no further details.
Hilco has yet to comment and there have been no hints of other names stepping up to bid.
Cath Kidston had a turbulent time but looked to be getting back on track pre-pandemic. However, lockdowns dealt it a major blow and it collapsed in April 2020, severely hit by the pandemic’s lockdowns, and was bought out of administration that June by BPEA in a pre-pack insolvency deal which entailed the closure of all-but-one of its UK stores.
However, it recently instructed advisers at PricewaterhouseCoopers to find a new owner for the now online/wholesale-led company, with e-commerce accounting for 85% of the business. However, it retains a global flagship store on London’s Piccadilly and operates a few stores abroad, including in Saudi Arabia.
Cath Kidston has been run for the last four years by Melinda Paraie, who joined as chief executive from luxury goods brand Coach in 2018. A brand transformation plan had been put in place at the end of 2020, which saw Creative Director, Holly Marler, joining from Liberty London.
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