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Cath Kidston bought out of administration by owner

Global lifestyle brand Cath Kidston has been bought out of administration by its parent company Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) in a pre-pack deal.

The management team of Cath Kidston today (21 April) confirmed that parts of the business have been transferred by administrators, Alvarez and Marsal, following an independent sale process to CK Acquisitions Limited – a company controlled by BPEA.

The deal included Cath Kidston’s e-commerce platform, franchise and wholesale businesses, and BPEA aims to continue the business digitally.

However, the deal did not include the brand’s 60 stores, which will be managed by the administrators, leaving its entire estate at risk of closure and plunging almost 740 jobs into uncertainty.

The transaction follows a review of the business by Cath Kidston’s management team which “explored all options for securing a viable future for the business”. BPEA’s bid was determined to be the one which offered the “highest value” and best opportunity to secure the future of the business.

Melinda Paraie, CEO of Cath Kidston, said: “While we are pleased that the future of Cath Kidston has been secured, this is obviously an extremely difficult day as we say goodbye to many colleagues.

“Despite our very best efforts, against the backdrop of Covid-19, we were unable to secure a solvent sale of the business which would have allowed us to avoid administration and carry on trading in our current form.”

She added: “I would like to thank all our employees for their hard work, loyalty and patience over the last few weeks as we worked through this process.

“We now look to the future and are focused on transforming Cath Kidston into a brand-first, digital-led business with a continuing mission to brighten customers’ lives with our much-loved, British-inspired prints and designs.”

A spokesperson for BPEA said: “While we are disappointed that the Covid-19 crisis has resulted in the cessation of the retail store network and impacted many employees, we are pleased to have secured a future for a number of Cath Kidston staff and the Cath Kidston brand in the form of a viable digital business.”

They added: “Going forward we will continue to help the company grow through its e-commerce platform and international wholesale and franchise businesses.

“We would like to thank Melinda and the company’s management team for their hard work in managing through this difficult economic crisis and establishing a viable future for the business in the UK.”

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