High Street

Cath Kidston up for sale two years after collapse

Baring Private Equity Asia, a ‘substantial’ shareholder, has reportedly asked PwC to find a buyer for the retailer

Cath Kidston, the fashion and homeware brand, has been put up for sale two years after collapsing into administration, with the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs.

According to Sky News, Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) has instructed advisers at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to find a new owner for the now wholesale-led company.

Sky News said that PwC has been engaged with prospective buyers for a number of weeks, although their identities are unclear.

Cath Kidston was forced into administration in April 2020 as its fortunes were hit by the pandemic.

BPEA took full control of the company in 2016, and struck a pre-pack insolvency deal which entailed the closure of its entire high street estate. However, the retailer does retain fewer than a handful of stores 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.

It expanded from a single shop in West London selling car boot finds and vintage fabric into a business offering fashion, homewares and accessories.

The chain reportedly made a fortune for its founder when she sold a stake to private equity firm TA Associates 12 years ago in a deal reportedly worth £100m. Additionally, in 2014, BPEA became a “substantial” shareholder.

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