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Cath Kidston acquired by Hilco Capital

By Rachel Douglass

1 Jul 2022

Business

Image: Cath Kidston

British brand Cath Kidston has been acquired by Hilco Capital after its former owner Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) reportedly put its stake in the business up for sale.

The funding from Hilco, which is an operating arm of Hilco Global, looks to support the heritage retailer’s next phase of growth.

Hilco is regularly associated with struggling companies, offering expertise in restructuring services and insolvency.

The investment will further see funds affiliated with BPEA exit its stake.

The sale comes two years after the brand fell into administration due to pandemic-related struggles, resulting in the loss of around 900 jobs.

Rumours of Cath Kidston’s sale ran rampant over the course of this week, with a report from Sky News on Monday stating that BPEA, which took control of the brand in 2016, had asked advisors to find a new owner.

“Brexit, followed by the covid pandemic, created a number of challenges for the consumer industry,” said Marty Wikstrom, non-executive chair at Cath Kidston, in a release. “Thankfully, we have been able to successfully navigate those challenges and, with the help of BPEA, reposition the company for growth.”

Expected to invest in e-commerce

In its acquisition of the brand, BPEA established an insolvency deal, ultimately closing the doors of almost its entire UK high street presence.

Cath Kidston still operates a handful of stores in Saudi Arabia.

According to Wikstrom, its London Piccadilly store is “growing rapidly and performing close to pre-pandemic levels”, with its international and UK wholesale orders also growing 40 percent for the fiscal year ending March 2022.

Wilstrom added: “I am pleased that the Hilco team will commit the resources to enable Cath Kidston to accelerate its growth. Hilcoś large and experienced UK team has considerable expertise in branded fashion and consumer businesses. We expect to incest further in e-commerce, and thanks to Holly Marler, who joined the company in 2021 as creative director, our new product ranges are perfectly placed to appeal to both existing and new customers.”

Cath Kidston